JUST SO jsA Musical in 2 Acts: Book by Anthony Drewe, inspired by the stories of Rudyard Kipling; Music by George Stiles; Lyrics by Anthony Drewe Just So was produced by Cameron Mackintosh at the Watermill and Tricycle Theatres in the UK; at the Goodspeed Opera House, USA; North Shore Music Theatre, USA. It won the 1985 Vivian Ellis Prize 1984 Newbury - Watermill Theatre 1998 Goodspeed Opera House 2000 North Shore Music Theatre 2003 Rock Valley College Starlight Theatre 2005 Chichester Theatre Festival 2006 Globe Theatre 2008 Kanata Theatre (Ron Maslin Play House) 2010 Birmingham Repertory Theatre (at the Old REP) SYNOPSIS "Before the High and Far-Off Times…came the Time of the Very Beginnings" when everything was just so, until Pau Amma the Crab, started playing with the ocean. This caused the lands to flood, disrupting the other animals and putting them in danger. While the rest of the animals accept their sad fate, however, Elephant's Child embarks on a journey to challenge and overcome the disobedient crab. Along the way, he meets other animals and discovers how the mysteries of their phenomenon came to be. STORY ACT ONE The stage is a blank canvas. A shaft of light shines up from beneath the stage and the Eldest Magician climbs through it. He sits on an old packing trunk and begins to read the story of "before the High and Far-Off Times" to the Best Beloved. As he tells the story, amorphous, indistinguishable Animals scurry on stage. The Eldest Magician, who created them, was very pleased …until he realized that they all looked the same. He bid the animals "Go Forth" and play at what they were so they would learn what they were. So the Elephant, the Zebra, and so on and so forth, played at being what they were. All the animals played, except for Pau Amma, the Crab, who vowed to play alone in the deep water and never be obedient. He had grown so huge that even the Eldest Magician could not control him. Twice a day he would go out and search for food, causing flooding all across the land. But no one, not the Tiger, not the Crocodile, the Butterfly, or the Camel would do anything to stop Pau Amma who had become as tall as the smoke of three volcanoes. On a typical day, the Elephants form a circle around a waterhole. They discuss the dilemma of Pau Amma the surly Crab when Elephant's Child bursts through their circle asking questions. He believes "There's No Harm in Asking Questions" so he asks a lot of them. The other Elephants admonish the child that his questions are silly and a nuisance. The menacing sound of Pau Amma interrupts their reverie and the Elephants decide to leave the waterhole and head for higher ground in hopes of escaping Pau Amma the Crab's wet wrath. As the Elephant procession exits, Elephant's Child watches them go and decides to find Pau Amma and make him stop. He turns and bumps straight into Eldest Magician. Eldest Magician encourages the flightless Kolokolo Bird to join Elephant’s Child on the journey to find the Crab. After much protesting from the Kolokolo Bird, she and Elephant’s Child set off for "The Limpopo River" in search of Crab. They jump into the trunk (still onstage) which turns magically into a boat and they sail off. Suddenly they hear thunder as Pau Amma thrashes the sea and blows the tiny raft hundreds of miles offcourse. They are eventually washed up on an uninhabited island where the Parsee Man and his beloved Cookstove reside. Unfortunately, because of Crab, the Parsee Man has no ingredients to cook in his lovely Stove. Cookstove and Parsee Man mourn the idleness of "Living On This Island" and not being able to make one cookie or tart.