Archie is the new Mowgli

Portsmouth schoolboy ten-year-old Archie Porter has been selected from 78 hopefuls to Mowgli in Groundlings’ March production of The Jungle Book.

Archie, who attends Craneswater School, has never performed in professional theatre. Nor has he ever been to the theatre before.

However he has always had an interest in performing: “I would often practise in my room, making up characters and singing songs,” he said.

On the audition day, he impressed artistic director Richard Stride.

Richard said: “Watching Archie in his audition, he had a freshness and a wiry energy you don’t often find which is perfect for the part of Mowgli.”

The Jungle Book cast includes other Groundlings veterans such as Emma Uden, who recently starred as the Ghost of Christmas Present, in Groundlings’ production of A Christmas Carol.

When he heard he had got the part, all Archie’s family were congratulating him: “They all call me Mowgli!”

Archie is listening to old vinyl records of The Jungle Book and going to Marwell Zoo in preparation for the part: “I think I’ll be nervous for the first show, but after that I’ll just enjoy it.”

The show will include a two-course Indian-themed meal and is running from Monday, March 28 to Sunday April 10. Tickets with a meal are £15 for adults, £13 for concessions and £9 for children, while limited tickets without a meal are £9.50 for adults and £7.50 for concessions. For further information contact the Groundlings box office on 023 9273 7370 or visit www.groundlings.co.uk.