Date 5th July 2012
Society The DODS
Venue The Lister Hall, Dursley
Type of Production Musical
Director Darren Kitchin
Musical Director Julia Prince
Choreographer Val Lockley


Author: Gerry Branton

This abiding musical, based on the Gospel of St Matthew, is ideally suited to an energetic, enthusiastic young group, such as Junior DODS. Although centered on Jesus and his twelve disciples, I am told DODS fielded thirty-eight, but I am unable to corroborate as they were never still long enough for me to count! However, each member worked to his or her utmost capacity, giving full commitment to this thought-provoking and challenging piece. With small but effective musical backing of keyboards, guitars and drums, young voices were heard to best effect, although sound assistance certainly improved in Act 2. Naturally Jesus has to dominate and Huw Prince in the pivotal role did not disappoint, even showing proficient footwork in one ensemble number. Evenly matched as the 'other side of the coin' was Gareth Davies as John the Baptist and Judas. This duo impressed throughout, as did Keira, the lead singer in "Bless the Lord" and Lydia's injection of Torch singing in "Turn back, O man". In general, Act 2 produced the finest singing of the evening, with effective harmonies supporting larger numbers and really beautiful singing in the haunting trio "On the Willows". Set in a school yard, complete with exercise ramps and rails, the scholastic theme continued with costumes of green T-shirts with motifs of school tie and crest, worn over black, with Jesus all in white as a cricketer and Judas naturally dressed in black. Movement was kept simple, yet proved effective and my only real criticism would be with Act 1 sound support (although I viewed on the opening night) and earlier dialogue, which was rushed, making it difficult to hear easily. A most entertaining production and worthy of our congratulations, DODS.