Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Date 10th December 2021
Society Teesdale Operatic Society
Venue The Witham
Type of Production Musical
Director Dawn Trevor
Musical Director Robert Wilson Baker
Choreographer Isobel Harvey & Scott Edwards

Report

Author: Helen Abraham

First of all a huge warm NODA welcome to Teesdale Operatic Society, the newest Group to join the NODA North family!  Brand spanking new, full of enthusiasm and my word have they come in with a bang!

 I will begin by stating there are simply not enough descriptive terms that I could include in this report to adequately reflect just how good this production was.  Joseph isn’t one of my personal favourite shows however after seeing this version I’m absolutely converted!

The Witham has a small performance space which we know brings its own difficulties and Teesdale OS had a lovely large cast; but director Dawn Trevor brought out the best for all with a heightened fixed set and arrangements to ensure all of her cast were seen and heard.  The costumers, provided by Molly Limpet’s in Sheffield were a treat for the eyes, there was so much colour and flair throughout; everything was fantastic!  An absolute feast for the eyes.  Dawn included a lot of her own touches to the musical we all know which gave it a little something extra special; even down to Pharaoh’s introduction which left the audience chuckling and the stage selfies!

The ten piece orchestra was under the control of Musical Director Robert Wilson Baker and they provided an absolutely perfect balance.  So frequently we see shows where the orchestra can overpower the performances on stage but this did not occur even once here.  Robert led them superbly and they made the music so enjoyable for us all – thank you Robert.  The vocal arrangements were well rehearsed and came across smoothly and clearly, notably in “Close Every Door (Reprise)” thank you for the clear time and effort you have given to their voices Robert.

The performance itself throughout was consistently high energy, lively and full of enthusiasm from every single cast member consistently.  Their energy, drive and their fun just radiated from that stage drawing in the audience.  Absolutely fantastic to achieve and maintain.  The cast was widely diverse in their ages and abilities, from children to older adults with varying abilities and every one of them shone like the absolute stars they are.  Every number and performance was so strong, it’s difficult to single any individual out as they genuinely all shone so brightly.  I did however absolutely love Peter Rhodes as Pharaoh who had us dancing in our seats, delivered his number with such energy and the most amazing shoes!  WE LOVE YOU PHARAOH!  Scott Edwards as Joseph had a soft controlled delivery of the iconic “Close Every Door” which was just beautiful.  He drew us into Joseph’s world and the children’s choir accompanying him with candlelight were controlled and authentic.

Big well done too to choreographers Isobel Harvey and Scott Edwards.  Choreography with restricted space, varying abilities and a full stage is incredibly tough but they used simple effective well-rehearsed movements which all were able to execute with ease.  Well done toDan Newell whom I understand stepped in at short notice to cover a dance break in “Those Canaan Days” following an injury and was absolutely marvellous.

What was clear from this cast was how much fun they were having.  Every last one of them were living their best lives and the standing ovation was more than well deserved.  The “Megamix” at the end really felt like as an audience member you were enjoying a big party with the cast, we all loved it and were dancing in our seats.

You’ve set a high bar for yourselves now Teesdale, I really cannot wait to see what more comes from you.  In the words of Craig Revell-Horwood; FAB-UL-OUS!!