Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Date 28th October 2021
Society Battle Amateur Theatrical Society
Venue Battle Memorial Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Mark Evans
Musical Director Lesley Van Egmond
Choreographer Kim Sutton

Report

Author: Anne Lawson

This popular piece is introduced in song by the Narrator – Tamara Leggett who is beautifully cast in telling this story of love, redemption, and forgiveness. She tells of Jacob (Joseph’s father) portrayed perfectly by Peter Elliott, and his eleven brothers. Joseph being the youngest and favourite is given the vibrant coat and envy ensues. Dreamer Joseph sees that he’s destined to rule. Brothers full of jealousy plan his demise but instead sell him as a slave. Jacob is distraught.

Purchased by Potiphar he excels until, after unwanted advances from his Mrs., he’s put in jail, where he meets two of Pharaoh’s servants, cuddly Baker played by Gary Grinham also Brother Simeon, and Butler ‘buttled’ by Rob Dyer, also playing Brother Issachar. Joseph interprets their dreams and the Butler reports back to Pharaoh. Impressed, the Elvis lookalike, sing alike Pharaoh, expertly ‘pelvisly’ performed by Christopher Lavender (also Brother Dan), releases and elevates Joseph to become his right-hand man.

Back home the family are struggling with a predicted famine. Having heard food is available in Egypt they travel to ‘Grovel’ for food, not recognising Joseph. He feeds them, but in one of the sacks he hides a chalice! Ben the youngest has it in his sack. The others beg for his life and offer to take his place. Joseph seeing their change reveals himself much to their joy and father Jacob is sent for. He now wears the coloured coat again. In conclusion a rock disco medley is energetically performed, much to the audience’s approval.

David Baxter gave a fine ‘ye ha’ performance giving an interesting lasso demo – he portrayed Brother Naphtali. Another worthy cameo was Calypso performer Ben Hitchcock as Brother Gad together with French accented, red beret wearer Seth Ringrose as Brother Judah. Please don’t be offended if I’ve not mentioned you all by name for this was truly a whole team effort. Wives, men, and dancers under the keen eye of Kim Sutton produced interesting, slick, comical, and energetic movement, together with the glamour of opulent costumes put together by wardrobe team, Co-ordinator Julie Baughurst, Designer/Seamstress Libby Grainger with Asst. Kerry Lee White. Finishing touches with very professional looking props throughout and we loved the pooing camel!

Good publicity coverage, advertising, and souvenir programme design – a quality A4 edition was presented and is to go forward into the NODA Poster and Programme Competition.

Director Mark Evans with his usual attention to detail, also designed the set – steps that ran the full width of the stage – dotted large palm trees often coloured green and purple with a group of centrally placed coloured cubes, black back drop with not overbearing band directed by talented MD Lesley behind. Articulate and clear singing with extra seated choir adding to the enjoyment. Sparkling Egyptian figures were presented and the opening rise by the Narrator’s raised arms took up the colourful opening drop as she stood at the top of the steps - impressive. Brian Grainger was SM, supported by Chris Packham’s lighting design.

Tamara Leggett sang beautifully as the constant meaningful Narrator dressed simply in black with an addition of sparkling blue jacket, with such belief, softness with the Lemon Team of delightful youngsters and then with great power. A mammoth part too and working well together with Nathan McDonald in his third BatTS production, this time as Joseph. Having watched him develop from his ‘In The Wings’ (Youth Group) days, I commend his achievement.

Stamina, energy, musicality, and characterisation gave us another exciting production after such a very difficult period, with many obstacles overcome.