It'll be hard to beat the actor-muso perfection of the Barn's inaugural production of The Secret Garden earlier this year, but the just-announced actor-muso cast for JUST SO look like they're up to it. Matthew Kelly is helping voice Stiles & Drewe's family treat. Who's bringing the animals to life onstage? Full company here...
The Barn Theatre in Cirencester ends its hugely successful first year with another much-loved, family musical in a new actor-musician production for its Christmas special. Stiles and Drewe's Just So, inspired by Rudyard Kipling, runs from 5 December 2018 to 13 January 2019, with a press night on 10 December. It's directed by Kirk Jameson.
In Just So, five of Kipling's short stories are woven together into a wondrous tale of personal courage, individuality and friendship. The Eldest Magician is creating all the animals. Everything is Just So until Pau Amma the Crab starts playing with the ocean, which causes the land to flood, putting the other animals in danger. While the rest of the animals accept their sad fate, Elephant’s Child embarks on a journey to challenge and overcome the disobedient crab. Along the way, he meets other creatures and discovers how they came to be the way they are.
Matthew Kelly, still best known to TV fans for presenting family favourites Stars In Their Eyes and Game For a Laugh, has racked up numerous lauded stage credits including The Habit of Art, Toast, Waiting For Godot, Funny Peculiar, Sign of the Times and Of Mice and Men, for which he won Best Actor at the Olivier Awards. In Just So, he provides The Voice of Pau Amma The Crab.
It's the first day of rehearsals for JUST SO today @theBarnTheatre looking forward to getting creative and working with some super talented folk @Jamesontweets @nickjbarstow @Jamiecdixon pic.twitter.com/nb3cV7doFb— Joanna Goodwin (@JoGoodwin87) November 5, 2018
Leading the onstage cast, Lewis Cornay plays Elephant's Child and Molly Lynch is Kolokolo Bird. Cornay's West End credits include Michael Banks in Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre), Kurt Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (London Palladium) and Louis Leonowens in The King And I (Royal Albert Hall). Lynch just starred as Anne Bronte in Wasted (Southwark Playhouse); her other credits include Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard (Leicester Curve & UK Tour). They're joined in the ensemble cast of actor-musicians by Duncan Drury, Dylan Wynford, Evie Rose Lane, Grant Urquhart, Imogen Halsey, Kiran Patel, Michaela Stern and Rosalind Ford.
Just So is one of the earlier collaborations of the UK's most successful, living musical theatre writing team: George Stiles (music) and Anthony Drewe (book and lyrics). Their other shows include West End hits Half a Sixpence, Mary Poppins, Betty Blue Eyes, Honk! and The Wind in the Willows. Just So premiered, care of West End and Broadway impresario Cameron Mackintosh, in 1984 at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury before transferring to London.
The Barn Theatre production is directed by Kirk Jameson with orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, new orchestrations by Nick Barstow, choreography by Joanna Goodwin and set design by Ryan Dawson Laight. John Clancy is associate orchestrator.
Just So runs 5 December 2018 to 13 January 2019 at The Barn, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester GL7 1BN. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and Sundays at