Date 6th June 2014
Society Overton Dramatic Society
Venue St Marys Hall Overton
Type of Production Musical
Director Tom Wheatley
Musical Director Frank Bell


Author: Kay Rowan

Gospell is a musical by Stephen Schwartz from a book by John-Michael Tebelak which opened off Broadway in 1971.  The show revolves around a series of parables interspersed with predominantly modern music.  There are ten members of the cast who are onstage throughout. The juxtaposition of John the Baptist with Judas Iscariot is an interesting phenomenon. 

This show was exceptionally well cast, inspirationally directed and followed in the tradition of workshop productions by evolving not only within the mind of the director but also by the skill of the actors.  The small but exceedingly able cast all had essential roles to play which they mastered and became immersed into the show.  The singing, acting and movement on and around the stage was first class including the blending into the audience at various stages – characters were maintained throughout. The band supported the cast most effectively.  The rearrangement of the hall created several challenges for the crew which they rose to and exceeded.  An interesting acting area had been created on different levels by blocks and scaffolding.  All of the walls were draped with wall hangings appearing to depict steam pipes and engines which later were brought to life by the use of UV sensitive slogans.  The final scene with a stained-glass style backdrop was most effective.  Despite the rather random appearance of the costumes there was obviously a great deal of thought which went into the style, colour and trimmings.  All in all it created a very individual style with influences from different centuries and cultures.

A most pleasurable evening - congratulations to all involved.