Giraffes Can't Dance: The Making Of The Soundtrack

Thu 23 Jul 2020
Production image from Giraffes Can't Dance. Four of the jungle friends wearing camo boiler suits dance with cricket, who is singing whilst holding a scooter. The set is styled as a yellow-toned savannah, with trees and rocks scattered round.

Did you join Gerald the Giraffe and friends at the great Jungle Dance in our Made at Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston and Simon Friend co-production of Giraffes Can’t Dance last Christmas?

The family show featured songs and music from our Curve Associate Artist Tasha Taylor Johnson. In this video, created by Tasha, you can see how the show’s vibrant and fun soundtrack was created.

Tasha describes how she created the show’s soundtrack:

“The composition process began at a table with Julia Thomas (director) where we hashed out the best song points within the story. Once decided I started singing lyric & melody hooks into my iPad and putting down some rough ideas for beats / chord structures & instrumentation within the GarageBand application. Then I’d sit at the piano and re structure, extend and arrange these ideas into fully formed songs. The underscore then grew out of these songs as variations on those melodic themes. I then added electronic production, bass, drums, samplers and backing vocals within Logic Pro x. Lastly I brought in the amazing Justin Wilman to sprinkle his multi instrumental sparkle on top. We layered in strings to make lush beds, sax and flute to thicken up the instrumentation and recorder for jazzy riffs and flourishes.”

A black and white image of a table, upon which there is a bowl of fruit, a xylophone, maracas, a bunch of flowers, a flower garland and a box with the word award written on it. These are props and instruments used in the Giraffes Can't Dance rehearsal room.
Props and instruments in the Giraffes Can’t Dance rehearsal room at Curve – Photography by Pamela Raith

Songs & Music By Tasha Taylor Johnson –…

Additional music and instrumentation by Justin Wilman

Giraffes Can’t Dance is based on the bestselling book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Ress

Production team:

Director & Adapter : Julia Thomas
Music, Lyrics & Adapter: Tasha Taylor Johnson
Designer : Simon Kenny
Lighting Designer : Jane Lalljee
Sound Designer : Chris James
Casting Director: Kay Magson CDG
Movement Director: Mel Knott
Musical Supervisor : Justin Wilman
Photography : Pamela Raith


Joshua Coley – Jungle Friends
Sophie Coward – Gerald the Giraffe
Jason Yeboa – Jungle Friends
Phyllis Ho – Cricket
Gracia Rios – Jungle Friends

RnD cast:

Leon Cooke
Justin Wilman
Ebony Feare
Thomas James
Jo Mousley