Rudyard Kipling’s timeless tales come to St Albans stage

Just So will be performed by the St Albans Youth Music Theatre at The Abbey Theatre

Just So will be performed by the St Albans Youth Music Theatre at The Abbey Theatre - Credit: Supplied by Abbey Theatre

Five of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless tales are woven together in Just So, which can be seen in St Albans next week.

This lively and charming musical will be performed by St Albans Youth Music Theatre at The Abbey Theatre from April 5 to April 7.

In 1985, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, two unknown graduates from Exeter University, won the first ever Vivian Ellis Prize.

This national competition to find new writers for the musical stage brought them to the attention of the young producer Cameron Mackintosh.

Their winning musical was based on Kipling’s Just So stories, set to an eclectic modern score, and Cameron’s faith in the show paid off when it became a big hit, 19 years later!

Kipling’s tales tell of the creation of all the animals by the Eldest Magician.

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.

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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.

From its definitive production at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2004, Just So was recognised as a colourful and uplifting show, with the underlying message that one determined individual can make a real difference in this world.

Director Sally Wilson has been involved with the SAYMT for nearly 25 years.

She said: “I have been delighted and privileged to have directed this year’s production of Just So, especially as this will be my last show with the group.

“It has always been our aim that, no matter what their ability, that every single youngster who takes part, gets the most of their opportunity, and will get their moment in the spotlight.

“This show in particular allows that, as it has 13 principal roles, and enough dialogue for everyone to have at least one line.

“It also has some amazing musical numbers, including the title song, Just So.”

SAYMT performances take place on the Abbey Theatre Main Stage from Thursday, April 5 to Friday, April 6 at 7.30pm, and on Saturday, April 7 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

• To book tickets go to or call the box office on 01727 857861.