Musical (1990)

Musique: George Stiles
Paroles: Anthony Drewe
Livret: Anthony Drewe
Production à la création:

Set at the beginning of time, along Africa’s Limpopo River, the Eldest Magician created a world full of beasts, birds and fish. Everything was just so, until Pau Amma the Crab began playing with the ocean, causing a flood that threatened the other animals. To stop the crab, the Elephant’s Child must embark on a quest down the Limpopo River. With the help of the Kolokolo Bird they discover a world of weird and wonderful creatures and learn how the leopard got his spots, how the rhinoceros got his skin, and how curiosity and a hungry crocodile can turn an elephant’s small nose into a very large trunk.

Act One
The Eldest Magician begins by reading a story “before the High and Far-Off Times” to the Best Beloved. As he does so, various indistinguishable animals appear on stage. The Eldest Magician, who created them, was very pleased...until he realized that they all looked the same. He bid the animals to go forth and find out what they were.

All the animals did as the Eldest Magician asked except for Pau Amma the Crab, who vowed to be disobedient and play alone in the waters. He grew and grew and grew, and would go out looking for food twice a day, causing large areas of the land to flood, and so disrupting many of the other animals.

One day when the elephants have gathered round the watering hole, they discuss the tyranny of the Crab. Bursting into the middle of the circle, the Elephant’s Child decides THERE’S NO HARM IN ASKING, and so to the elephants' annoyance he asks a continuous series of questions, all of which they dismiss as “silly”. They are interrupted however by the Crab’s feed and are forced to move to higher ground.

The Elephant’s Child decides to find Pau Amma and make him stop. He finds the Eldest Magician who encourages the flightless Kolokolo Bird to join the Elephant’s Child on a journey to THE LIMPOPO RIVER in search of the Crab.

Travelling in a small raft, the two travellers are thrown off course by a storm created by the Crab and are washed up on an uninhabited island where the Parsee Man and his beloved Cooking Stove can no longer cook after the Crab constantly floods the crops they grow (LIVING ON THIS ISLAND).

The Elephant’s Child and the Kolokolo Bird ask the Parsee Man if they may stay and try one of his cakes.. As they chat, Rhinoceros bursts on stage complaining about his THICK SKIN which appears painfully tight. He then continues on his way.

Parsee Man and the cooking stove agree to cook a special cookie made out of the emergency rations as a gift. Along with the various Cake Ingredients (Butter, Sugar and Flour) Parsee Man shows the Elephant’s Child and the Kolokolo Bird how to limber up (THE PARSEE CAKEWALK).

Rhino, who smells cake, comes back and tries to blend in amongst the dancing ingredients. Once the cake is completed he leaps forward and greedily rushes off with it, leaving the Parsee Man and the cooking stove vowing to get revenge. The Elephant’s Child and the Kolokolo Bird set sail once again.

The raft finally reaches the coast of Africa where they meet the animals on the High Veldt. Giraffe, Koodoo, Eland, Bushbuck, Quagga and Zebra lounge around chatting, whilst Leopard and Jaguar are slowly moving in, hungry for a catch (THE CHASE). The Jaguar and the Leopard realise that the Elephant’s child and the Kolokolo Bird are around and go about surprising them in hope that they will make a good meal. When the Elephant’s Child asks for help in finding the Crab, they offer a deal: they will help find the Limpopo River in exchange for help finding Giraffe and Zebra. When the Elephant’s Child asks why, Jaguar and Leopard cheerfully explain “THEY WANT TO TAKE THE LADIES OUT”. The idea of the cats eating the innocent creatures troubles both of the travellers, who feel they should warn the other animals. He therefore convinces Giraffe and Zebra to “PICK UP YOUR HOOVES AND TROT” and join him and the Kolokolo Bird. The group comes across a jungle where they eventually decide to rest until tomorrow. But the Giraffe and the Zebra stick out, causing concern that the cats may still find them.

The Elephant’s Child discovers the JUNGLE LIGHT, and prays to the Eldest Magician to help use it to camouflage them. The Eldest Magician molds and shapes the light beam to fall on the animals in such a way as to hide the giraffe and zebra. The two are transformed into their permanently patchy and stripey patterns.

But their celebration is interrupted by the sound of crashing waves. The baobab tree collapses allowing allowing sunlight into the clearing and causing chaos. It turns out the Crab rose out of the water, blotting out the sun.

The Crab asks who dares challenge him. The Elephant’s Child speaks up and politely asks the Crab to stop playing with the sea as it causes great havoc for the other animals. Pau Amma laughs and vows to go out and hunt for food seven times a day now so that the waters will never be still.

The Elephant’s Child is now scared and doesn’t know what to do at all. The Kolokolo Bird steps forward and convinces him that they must continue their way to “THE LIMPOPO RIVER” (Reprise) and promises they will think of something to stop the Crab.

Act Two
The Eldest Magician is interrupted by the arrival of the Elephant’s Child and the Kolokolo Bird having “THE ARGUMENT”. It appears that they are lost and the two continue to blame each other until the Elephant’s Child runs off, having called the Kolokolo Bird a freak for being scared of flying.

The Elephant’s Child immediately accuses the Eldest Magician of being at fault. The Eldest Magician counsels him that the very thing he is looking for might be right under his nose.

The Eldest Magician introduces The Elephant’s Child to the Kangaroo, who sings about how normal his legs used to be “ABORIGINALLY”. He wanted, however, to be more powerful and so the Eldest Magician recruited the Dingo Dog to chase him, building up the muscles in the Kangaroo’s legs (LEAPS AND BOUNDS). As he ran he began to hop, and as his legs got larger he hopped so much that he could run no more.

As Kangaroo exits he warns the Elephant’s Child, “Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you get what you deserve.” The now sheepish Elephant’s Child goes off in search of the Kolokolo Bird.

Back in the jungle, the Kolokolo Bird sits wondering why she always makes herself “WAIT A BIT”. However, the two cats appear and tie her up, just as the Elephant’s Child bursts through to rescue her. The Jaguar offers to let the bird go in exchange for the whereabouts of the Zebra and the Giraffe.

The animals encourage the Elephant’s child to “TAKE YOUR TIME”. In the end he offers himself instead.

Giraffe and Zebra taunt and tease them. The cats can only hear and smell their prey, since Giraffe and Zebra are perfectly camouflaged by their new skins. The Elephant’s Child offers to show the Leopard and the Jaguar how they can change their skins too in exchange for his and the Kolokolo Bird’s freedom. The cats agree, untie the him, and eventually become “JUST SO” (Reprise) by acquiring new unique and camouflaged hides of their own.

The Elephant’s Child is searching for a now hidden Kolokolo Bird in order to apologize. The Parsee Man and the Cooking Stove enter in a boat made from an upturned Crab shell with the Rhino swimming close behind.

An already frustrated Elephant’s Child tells the group to stop acting like children and make friends. The Rhino blames the Parsee Man for ruining his skin, as he filled it with crumbs whilst the Rhino was swimming. He prepares to charge at the Parsee Man's Cooking Stove, but the Parsee Man begs the Rhino “PLEASE DON’T TOUCH MY STOVE”. Rhino, Parsee Man, and the Cooking Stove all agree to be friends.

The Elephant’s Child sees water in the distance and exclaims they must be at the Limpopo River. But the head of a Crocodile invites “LITTLE ONE COME HITHER”, offering to give the Elephant’s Child directions if he will give him a meal.

When the Elephant’s Child gets closer the Crocodile grabs him and tries to eat him. The Kolokolo Bird appears on a branch and, though scared, flies/falls to the ground to save the Elephant’s Child. Eventually the Elephant’s Child pulls free and the Crocodile slinks back into the water. The Elephant’s Child is embarrassed to see that his nose has been pulled into a trunk. The Kolokolo Bird encourages him to look on the bright side of having such a long nose and the Elephant’s Child apologizes for being so rude.

Both are weary and wonder DOES THE MOMENT EVER COME for them to achieve their goal. The Elephant’s Child suddenly notices the abandoned Crab shell. When the Kolokolo Bird mentions it is an old Crab shell that has been shed, the Elephant’s Child realizes how they can defeat the Crab.

The Eldest Magician appears and narrates while the Elephant’s Child and the Kolokolo Bird put their plan into action (IF).

The Elephant’s Child finds Pau Amma and challenges him. As the Crab emerges from the water the Elephant’s Child signals to the Eldest Magician, who casts a spell on the Crab which makes him finally shrink. When the Eldest Magician asks the other animals what to do with the Crab, the Elephant’s Child prompts him to let the Crab go to play in the sea, where he can no longer harm anyone.

All of the animals and the Eldest Magician celebrate their victories and their uniqueness with a grand finale. (JUST SO/THE LIMPOPO RIVER Reprise)

JUST SO won the first ever Vivian Ellis Prize for young musical writers in 1985 and was subsequently acquired by Cameron Mackintosh, who has overseen it's development. The show had it's first professional try-out at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, England in May 1989 as a co-production with Cameron, directed by Julia McKenzie.

The show received an off-West End production in 1990 at the Tricycle Theatre, directed by Mike Ockrent. The production was nominated for "Best Musical" and "Most Promising Newcomers" at the 1990 London Drama Critics Awards, and was then optioned by Steven Spielberg for feature animation (a project which was sadly lost between the cracks when Amblimation became a part of Dreamworks SKG.)

In 1998 a reworked version of JUST SO had its American try-out at the Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in Connecticut. North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA presented JUST SO in June 2001 with direction by writer Anthony Drewe.

Just So
Another Tempest
There's No Harm In Asking
Silly Questions
The Limpopo River
Living On This Island
Thick Skin
The Parsee Cake-Walk
The Chase
We Want To Take The Ladies Out
Pick Up Your Hooves
Jungle Light/Just So (reprise)
Act One Finale/ The Limpopo River (reprise)
The Argument
Wait A Bit
Aboriginally I
Leaps and Bounds
Does The Moment Ever Come?
Please Don't Touch My Stove
Little One Come Hither
Just So/The Limpopo River (reprise)

Main Characters:
Elephant's Child: a generally kind-hearted, curious elephant who can often be a little reckless.
Kolokolo Bird: Elephant's Child's reluctant and cynical guide; a bird that is too afraid to fly.
Eldest Magician: Both a character and the Narrator, the Eldest Magician tells the story to the audience and interacts with the characters on their journeys, acting as a God-like figure.

Secondary Characters (In Order of Appearance):
Elephants:Are not at all curious, and shun the Elephant's d for asking such 'silly questions'
King Elephant: The king of the herd
Queen Elephant: The queen of the herd
Parsee Man: An Indian man who is a French chef and lives on an island with only a cooking stove for company.
Cooking Stove: The Parsee Man's most beloved possession.
Rhino: A lazy, messy, creature with tight skin
Ingredients: The Parsee Man's ingredients, very fun characters
Giraffe: Zebra's friend, more open minded than Zebra
Zebra: A diva, Giraffe's best friend
Wildebeests: Rather uninteresting, they are the Giraffe and Zebra's friends, but the Giraffe and Zebra aren't theirs.
Jaguar: The smarter member of the Leopard/Jaguar duo
Leopard: The idiot member of the Leopard/Jaguar duo
Kangaroo: A humble creature, with huge legs. Used to be vain
Dingo Dog: The wild dog sent to chase Kangaroo
Wallabies: The supporters, cheerleaders, and fangirls of both Kangaroo and Dingo Dog.
Crocodile: the Crocodile lives in the Limpopo and is a very shady character.
Pau Amma the Crab: A giant crab, who plays with the sea, the shows antagonist.

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Just So

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Just So

Version 1

Just So (1990-11-Tricycle Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Tricycle Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 3 semaines
Nombre :
Première Preview : 22 November 1990
Première: 22 November 1990
Dernière: 12 January 1991
Mise en scène : Mike Ockrent
Chorégraphie : Anthony Van Laast
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Gary Bond (Eldest Magician), Sharon Benson (Zebra), Martyn Ellis (Rhino), Linzi Hateley (Kolokolo Bird) , Richard Henders {Elephant Child), Clive Rowe (Parsee Man), Jenna Russell (Dingo), David Schneider (Kangaroo), Nadia Strachan (Giraffe), Clinton Derricks & Carroll Vincent Leigh (Pau Amma)
Commentaires : The first version of this show won the Vivian Ellis Award in 1985, after which it was given a try-out at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury in 1989, directed by Julia McKenzie. This London fringe premiere was the launching pad for its very successful ongoing productions at regional and amateur theatres everywhere.

Version 2

Just So (1998-11-Norma Terris Theatre-Chester)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Norma Terris Theatre (Chester - Etats-Unis)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : 05 November 1998
Première: 05 November 1998
Dernière: Inconnu
Mise en scène : Lou Jacob
Chorégraphie : Jennifer Paulson Lee
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Tom Nelis (Eldest Magician), Cory Shafer (Elephant's Child), Sheri C. Sanders (Kolokolo Bird), Gabriel Barre (Parsee Man), Timothy Gulan (Cooking Stove/Kangaroo), Ben Lipitz (Rhino), Katy Grenfell (Zebra), Amy Bodnar (Giraffe), Stephen Bienskie (Leopard), Curtiss l'Cook (Jaguar)

Version 3

Just So (2004-06-Chichester Festival Theatre-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Chichester Festival Theatre (Chichester - Angleterre)
Durée : 3 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : 11 June 2004
Première: 17 June 2004
Dernière: 25 September 2004
Mise en scène : Anthony Drewe
Chorégraphie : Stephen Mear
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Junix Inocian, Richard Dempsey, Julie Atherton, Ahmet Ahmet, Steve Elias, Nicolas Colicos, Dean Hussein, Simon Greiff, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Akiya Henry

Version 4

Just So (2010-12-Tabard Theatre-London)

Type de série: Revival
Théâtre: Tabard Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : 01 December 2010
Première: 02 December 2010
Dernière: 09 January 2011
Mise en scène : Andrew Keats
Chorégraphie : Phyllida Crowley Smith
Producteur :
Star(s) :
Avec: Ian Knauler (Eldest Magician), Lee Greenaway ( Elephant Child), Lisa Baird ( Kolokolo Bird ) , Stuart Douglas James (Rhino), Lewis Barnshaw, Luke Fredericks, Nathan Taylor, Sophie Bowden, Holly Easterbrook, Thomas Lloyd, Cheryl Neal.
Commentaires : A Christmas revival, putting George Stiles in the extremely rare position of having two successive opening nights of shows where he had written the music – “Just So” at the Tabard on Thursday, and “Three Musketeers” at the Rose on Friday.

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