Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Date 7th October 2021
Society Lowestoft Players
Venue Players Theatre Lowestoft
Type of Production Musical
Director Stephen Wilson assisted by Jonathan Gibbs and Deanne Dickson
Musical Director Jonathan Gibbs
Choreographer Bethany Freeman

Report

Author: Sarah Meers

The spectacular musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat came to the Bethal on  a very wet and windy October Saturday evening in Lowestoft by the Lowestoft Players. The front of house team were there with a warm welcome in a very busy foyer, buzzing with excitement.

The show started with a group of children visiting a museum to learn about the history of the biblical story of Joseph and this was an inventive start. Joseph comes from a large, poor family in Canaan and rises through various adventures to become the second in command to the Pharoah in Egypt. A rags to riches story.

Joseph (Jason Ames) played the part with confidence and style. As the show went on he grew into the role. From an audience perspective The Narrator (Tara Ainsley) throughly enjoyed the character she portrayed. Pharoah/Reuben (Christopher Penn) had a flair in characterisation . Jacob/Potiphar (Peter Simmons) showed skills in comedy timing. Simeon (James Atkin) ooh la la! C’est tres bien!! As the Baker and Butler (Simon Warren) the two together worked a delightful double act. The brothers worked well together as a team as well as the ladies of the chorus especially in “There’s one more angel in heaven”. Great performance. Those Canaan days also a great performance but a singular hijab clad dancer was a little risqué. The children were excellent and very stage aware of spacing. They sang with quality.

A beautifully designed fully informative programme would be enhanced in the future by proof reading.

The direction and staging of Joseph showed an insight into use of the space available; different levels ensured “everyone” was seen. The orchestra played with verve and precision to enhance the casts performance, if a little loud in places. The lighting effects were dazzling and sparkling to perfection. The choreography was stunning and totally in-keeping with the ethos of the time. I was really impressed with the scenery both on stage and in the auditorium. The costumes were fabulous and totally relative to the setting.

Whatever beguiles a performance, characterisations needs to be maintained throughout the scenes and use of facial expressions and arms need to be considered. Americanisms crept in and the pauses in the music were a shade longer for me.

Just a personal opinion, I felt the pantomime effects were not apt. The witches, although well performed, were ill placed.

Joseph is a very well known Andrew Lloyd Webber show and therefore a vast majority of your audience will know most if not all of the words to the songs. Everyone on stage is responsible for their own performance.

It is to every societies advantage to have an audience filled with supportive family, friends and neighbours and I therefore feel that every performance of the cast maintains the highest standard possible. 

The flashy chariot entrance began the enthusiastic and brilliant megamix finale and as the saying goes “it’s not where you start it’s where you finish” This ended a most enjoyable evening.