Just So

Date 18th November 2018
Society Eastbourne Operatic & Dramatic Society
Venue Royal Hippodrome Theatre Eastbourne
Type of Production Musical
Director Nathan Gardner
Musical Director Hannah Gardner
Choreographer Sue Wood & Heather Tingley


Author: Brenda Gower

That was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Young people are the future of our theatrical world and the cast of Just So showed us that the future is bright.

George Styles (music) and Anthony Drewe (lyrics) have made Kipling’s Just So Stories into a very fascinating and popular musical which I enjoyed from start to finish. The Eldest Magician (Josh Archer) narrated the story with aplomb, taking us through the ups and downs of the journey to the Great Green Limpopo River in order to stop Pau Amma, the Giant Crab causing destruction by playing with the sea. The Crab was admirably voiced by Lester Cooley–Greene.

It fell to the Elephant’s Child (Chloe Ayres) and the Kolokolo Bird (Heather Tingley) to make the  journey which they did admirably with the Elephant’s child constantly asking questions in a most disarming way. The Kolokolo Bird looked amazing and although she would rather have stayed on her nest she agreed to make the journey.  They had many adventures on the way, both making their parts come alive with their excellent acting.

All the other characters were played so well with Parsee Man (Lizzie Lawton) with his rather grumpy Cooking Stove (Joe Bloodworth).  I’m so glad I have a better relationship with my oven!

Leon Robinson gave us an ideal Rhino as did Zephan Robinson as Giraffe and Gemma Cullington as Zebra with Ellie Molloson as Kangaroo and Roo Samuel-King as Dingo Dog.

Kirsten Grinstead as Jaguar and Ben Trainor as Leopard made a great pair and, as with all the above, making the animals so real.  Ben Trainor and Leon Robinson also gave us the fearsome crocodile.

The chorus, made up of Wildebeest, Elephants, Wallabies and Ingredients all played their parts to make us know that we were really in the exciting and sometimes dangerous Jungle.  All the characters, including the chorus, used their facial expressions to the best advantage.

The Band gave great support to those on stage, never overpowering the singers and all those backstage must have worked so hard to produce the lovely set, costumes, makeup, programme and everything that goes towards making a successful show.

Many congratulations to Director Nathan Gardner, Musical Director Hannah Gardner, Sue Wood and Heather Tingley for the Choregraphy and Jane Tingley, Production Manager.