Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Date 9th October 2021
Society Bolsover Drama Group
Venue The Assembly Rooms Bolsover
Type of Production Musical
Director Donna Knowles
Musical Director/Group Musical Director Wendy Blunt
Choreographer Bethany Thomas
Group Musical Director Nigel Taylor

Report

Author: Joyce Handbury

Joseph and the Amazing Tecnicolor Dreamcoat is based on the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colours and is told entirely through song with the help of the Narrator. After being sold into slavery by his brothers he gains the approval of Potiphar, an Egyptian nobleman, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife. Whilst in jail he realises that he can interpret dreams and later finds himself doing just that for an Elvis-inspired Pharoah. Joseph saves the country from famine and devastation and is elevated to being Pharoah’s right-hand man and later, is reunited with his family.

This Youth Production was originally scheduled to be performed in July 2020 but after facing many challenges (Covid restrictions and the loss of some original cast members etc.) the date was arranged for October 2021.

The set was designed and constructed by Ken Radmore and Mick Whitehouse and consisted of three raised levels of staging surrounded by flats. The centre panel initially was of a scene with pyramids, later becoming a large portrait of a Pharoah. Both these panels were wonderfully painted by Scenic Artists Andrew and Sabina Aucock.  

The crucial role of The Narrator is to guide the audience through the story of Joseph and his brothers, but we didn’t have just one, we had three Narrators who shared the part. They were Sienna Alsop, Isabelle Corbett and Lydia North and what an accomplished trio they were. Delightfully dressed in vibrant, different coloured jackets their singing, whether together or in solo pieces, was exquisite and they certainly succeeded in keeping the whole show flowing - first rate performances from all three. Matt Alsop was absolutely amazing in his portrayal of Joseph. He has a terrific singing voice shown to great effect in his numerous songs none more so than in the singing of ‘Close Every Door’ which was so movingly delivered. His acting skills, his facial expressions, his understanding of the role, his confident, effortless and charismatic stage presence together with his superb singing voice made for, what was unquestionably, an outstanding and spectacular performance. Joseph’s eleven brothers were played by Karin Peterson (Reuben), Ben Johnson (Simeon), Cohan Wildgoose (Levi), Chloe Hughes (Napthali), Olivia Jaffray (Issachar), Oscar Miller (Asher), Stella Brown (Dan), Alycia Wildgoose (Zebulun), Sonny Wallage (Gad), Chloe Thomas (Judah) and Elliot Burton (Benjamin). The brothers have such a huge role in the show and in their numerous numbers their singing and actions, by them as a group and from the soloists in various songs, were all extremely well delivered with great enthusiasm and animation. Jack Wilson was perfect in the role of Pharoah or should I say ‘Elvis’! His interpretation was spot-on from his strong voice to his immaculate outfit, and of course, accompanied by some expressive gyrations. Jacob was well played by Jack Wilson, Ben Johnson was suitably arrogant as Potiphar, his wife was seductively portrayed by Oliver Jaffray and the thirteen members of the chorus gave well deserved support. Throughout the choreography was simple but well executed and together with tapes and Keyboards, good costumes, props, lighting and a wonderfully enthusiastic cast it all made for what was, a truly super show. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute as did the very exuberant audience. Congratulations to the Production Team and to everyone else involved.