Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Date 24th May 2013
Society Urmston Musical Theatre
Venue St Anthonys RC College
Type of Production Musical / Youth
Director Emma Harris
Musical Director Deborah Holmes
Choreographer Emma Harris

Report

Author: Kevin Proctor

JOSEPH and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, written by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in 1968 is a timeless musical which has been performed to packed audiences for decades, way exceeding the composer’s expectations from what started life as a school assembly production!  

Known to musical fans simply as ‘Joseph’, many famous faces have worn the multi-coloured coat including Jason Donovan, Phillip Schofield & Donny Osmond amongst other teenage pop stars and heart throbs fresh out of soap land.

Director / Choreographer, Emma Harris, made sure the audience gets its fill from this all-singing, all-dancing, high energy production.

This, like most of Lloyd Webber’s shows, has no dialogue and is fit to bursting with upbeat, full company numbers each with its own salute to a style or genre of music, instantly giving the choreographer plenty of work to do! Credit where it’s due, Emma had done a sterling job, at several points it was evident she’d steered away from the ‘easy’ or ‘obvious’ option which I always admire.

The set was similar to the Kenwright’s touring production with a stairway up each side of the stage linked with a bridge along the back. To signify the change of scene, an oversized book (or bible) acted as a backdrop and the pages were turned to reveal the location in the story which worked really nicely.

Musically, I can’t deny it was a little disappointing that the entire show was performed to track, though, I appreciate this does simplify the production in many aspects, including expense. However, the vocals from the youth ensemble were well accomplished and confident.

It’s not uncommon, particularly in youth productions of this show, for the part of the narrator to be shared out amongst the chorus as the narrator is hardly ever off stage and is responsible for holding the entire show together, Emily Yarwood did a marvellous job in doing so, and as an added bonus she had the most delightful voice - her whole performance was a remarkable treat from start to finish!

Gareth Hart gave us a very sincere Joseph, the highlight of his performance was undoubtedly ‘Close Every Door’ which he connected with to a mature level and delivered genuine emotion which was a standout part of the show for me.

Strong support was on display from Samuel Jones as King Pharaoh who received well-earned spurts of laughter from the audience – also, Leo Fernandez-Arias had some priceless moments as the framed brother Benjamin whose character really came to life during  ‘Who’s The Thief?’.

Other highlights of the show were ‘Benjamin’s Calypso’, ‘One More Angel In Heaven’ and the ‘Megamix/Finale’ which really left the show on a high!

Congratulations Urmston MT, this was a strong production from an ever growing youth section, keep it up!