Wildcat on Safari
Music and lyrics by Neil Brand, book by Alison Allen-Gray from an original story by Alison Allen-Gray and Neil Brand.
Set in a Safari Park, Wildcat On Safari concerns the adventures of a loveable, scruffy Wildcat and his eccentric friends Fox and Beaver as they try to rescue the King Lion's son from the evil clutches of the panther Shadra. With a large helping of audience participation and memorable songs this musical promises an up-beat evening's entertainment for children of all ages.
Lion’s Rock. Daybreak
The lights begin to build on stage and at once the audience is introduced to the monkey, oh sorry, Marmoset, as he enters greeting the audience and making his way to the stage. Marmoset explains that he has been searching the entire park for a suitable place for Signor Majesty King Lion, of whom he is very proud to know and serve, to live and watch over all of the animals. Marmoset tells of the search for space in a place where creatures from the world over will be gathered to live together, despite all of their differences. As he cleans the place that he has selected, we hear a loud and majestic roar that heralds the entrance of the King Lion. He enters, with his son in tow, and asks Marmoset to show him the place from where he is to “survey his realm”. As King Lion looks over his new kingdom, he inquires to Marmoset as to what lies beyond the safari park. Marmoset explains that it is the big forest where “only little animals – squirrels, mowzes, voles – nobody important”, live. Satisfied, the three set out to settle into their new home.
The Forest. Daybreak
It is daybreak in the forest. We hear the sounds of the birds singing, and in the distance, the sounds of the trucks rumbling through the woods. Fox awakens and from his den, looking “the worse for wear” in spite of his waistcoat and trousers, which give him a “dapper, well groomed appearance”. As he begins to tell the story of his dreadful night of sleep, his newspaper falls from the sky and knocks him on top of the head. The article in the paper about the new safari park makes Fox very excited and, with the help of the children in the audience, he begins to name all of the animals in the pictures. Fox then heads towards the creek for his morning bath and discovers that the stream has dried up. In a panic he rushes to wake up Wildcat from his hammock.
Unlike Fox, Wildcat is dressed in tattered clothes and is missing some of his whiskers and bits of his ear from living his carefree and mischievous lifestyle. Miss Beaver joins the two just as Wildcat is finished singing the praises of the wildcat life. Miss Beaver is from the Animal Welfare Office and is working in an effort to organise the new animal community to spread good will and peace. It does not take long for Fox and Wildcat to put the appearance of Miss Beaver and the shortage of water in their stream together and the two insist that she remove the dam that she built upstream. While Miss Beaver is explaining that she has to have her dam there because of the lack of space for all of the animals – she backs right into a lion cub, King Lion’s son. It seemed that the young cub had lost his way while exploring his new home. After a heated discussion about who should be responsible for getting him home, Wildcat decides to take charge and looks upon it as a great adventure.
Lion’s Rock. Daybreak
As night begins to fall and the sounds of the night birds are heard, we find King Lion keeping watch over the land. He waits in anticipation of his son being found. Marmoset tries to put the King at ease by assuring him that nothing could possibly happen to the young cub. The King asks Marmoset to gather all of the other monkeys and search all of the trees in the park. Marmoset takes pride in his assignment and expounds on his time as the personal bodyguard to Don Enrique’ Luis De Calvados. Marmoset starts off on his journey, but not without one last question for the King about any “unknown things” in their new home that may enjoy monkeys – for dinner.
A dark and spooky place, deep in the forest. Night
The lights come up on a very dark and mysterious place deep in the forest. On a tree branch we see a large black panther, Shadra, playing chess - with himself. We hear a branch crack, a panicked scream, and the appearance of Marmoset, who lands smack dab onto the centre of Shadra's chessboard. Marmoset explains that he is on a mission to find the son of King Lion. This news sparks the interest of the panther, and we see him begin to plan his devious scheme. In his effort to get information from Marmoset, Shadra threatens to make dinner of him. With the help of the audience, Marmoset gets free. The evil panther then turns his dinner attention to the audience.
We then hear Wildcat talking with the cub about not only the fact that they are both cats, but the fact that they both love life in the wild. As they walk through the dark woods they hear the loud howls of the wolf, which Wildcat does not recognise. With the help from the cub and the audience Wildcat finally figures out what the sound is, and notices the glowing eyes in the dark woods. When Wildcat summons the wolves to show themselves, they are instead greeted by the black panther. Shadra tries to convince Wildcat to turn the cub over to him to return to the King. He tells Wildcat of all of the "shifty characters at large" that inhabit the new park. Wildcat refuses and Shadra tries to hypnotise him using the power of the diamond that is in the center of his turban. As Shadra is about to pick up the cub, we see the light of a lamp, hear the voice of Fox, and Shadra is frightened away. Wildcat explains the situation to Fox, thanks him for his help, and thanks him for being his friend.
After they bed down for the night, Marmoset appears and, mistaking Wildcat for the cub, puts Wildcat in his bag to take back to the King. With the audience’s help, Fox figures out what has happened and prepares to set out with the cub to find him. Shadra reappears at that instant and demands that the cub be turned over to him. He hypnotises Fox and instructs him to give a special message to the King - "tell him I've got his precious son!"
Lion's Rock. The Following Morning.
Marmoset enters singing of his great adventure and tells the King that he has returned with his son. Immediately the mistake is revealed and Wildcat, a bit confused, explains the story of how the black panther tried to take the King's son. We then hear strange noises and see Fox enter, still in his hypnotised state, and Wildcat greets him with a bowl of water over his head. After telling them of how Shadra took the cub, the King sets out to find his son and fight Shadra to the death. In an effort to stop the King and save the cub, the three new friends set out to try and set things right themselves.
Shadra's Temple. The Same Evening.
The three make their way to Shadra's temple to find Shadra bringing food to the cub, who is trapped behind the bars of a cage. Shadra hears a noise made by the three and goes to hide and await the visitors. The three enter, with their sunglasses on to protect them from Shadra's powers, and begin to look for the key to the cage. In the dark they must lift their glasses to find the key, and Shadra makes his move. He hypnotises the three and puts them into the cage and warns them that he will be forced to put them under the "deep sleep spell", which will make them into zombies. The three wonder how they are going to escape, when in the distance they hear the voice of Miss Beaver making her rounds to all of the animals. Miss Beaver rescues the three and tells them of a way to ward off the magic of the black panther. Knowing that they are protected from Shadra, they get back in the cage and watch as Shadra begins the spell. As their plan continues, Miss Beaver distracts Shadra and the three escape from the cage. In the ensuing chase Wildcat is knocked unconscious to the ground and Shadra loses his turban with the magic diamond. After a slight scare, Wildcat awakens and Shadra stands stunned, not understanding what has happened. Shadra turns out not to be evil at all, but under the spell of the diamond turban. King Lion arrives and the group explains to him the whole situation.
The King bestows honours on the entire group for their valiant efforts in rescuing the young cub and discovering important things about themselves - all but Wildcat, who is happy the way he was.
(can be expanded): 1 female, 6 male (1 non-speaking), no chorus
- FOX - Very much the country gentleman. A stickler for organization, his only concession for chaos is that he shares his patch in the forest with Wildcat.
- WILDCAT - A lazy, scruffy, loveable ginger cat of the sort that has lost bits of ear in a carefree career. Easy-going, with streetwise cool. He and Fox are very in much the 'odd-couple'.
- BEAVER - American. A gregarious and exhaustingly cheerful young female, determined to encourage community spirit amongst the animals thrown together by man.
- LION CLUB - Non-speaking. Adorable, playful and vulnerable, the cub should establish an immediate bond with the audience, who 'translate' his mimes and noises.
- KING LION - The lion cub's father. King of all the Safari Park animals. He has qualities of great power, majesty and dignity.
- MARMOSET - A chatterbox monkey from Brazil. Sometimes silly, sometimes not-so-silly, always eager and enthusiastic. Athletic (sometimes disastrously so!). Servant to the King Lion.
- SHADRA - A black panther, and a master in the art of hypnosis. His sly charm barely masks the ruthlessness with which he persues his ambition to become King of the Beasts.
- This Is the Place - Marmoset, King Lion
- I'm A Cat - Wildcat, Fox
- Line 'Em Up And Count 'Em - Beaver, Fox, Wildcat
- Wildcat On Safari - Wildcat, Fox, Beaver
- Diamantina - Marmoset, King Lion
- The Blackest Of The Animals - Shadra
- Two Of A Kind - Fox, Wildcat
- We'll Bring Him Back - Fox, Wildcat, Marmoset
- Shadra - Shadra
- Wildcat Won't Ever Change - Company
flute db. alto sax, guitar, piano db. synthesiser, bass
Vocal Score and Libretto available on hire only