Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat

Date 30th October 2021
Society Northallerton Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Forum, Northallerton
Type of Production Musical
Director Adam Allinson
Musical Director Trevor Wilson
Choreographer Adam Allinson and Jasmine Smith
Assistant Director Andrea Atkinson

Report

Author: John Holliday

It has been 2 years since NMTC were able to bring us a major production and what a great choice of show to welcome us back with. Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is known for it’s high energy pace, catchy well known songs and fantastic colorful scenes and Northallerton delivered on every level.

A lovely warm welcome from the Forum staff and Committee members greeted my youngest and I as we made our way into a packed auditorium (the show sold out the complete run) and you could feel the excitement in the room as people were finally back seeing their local society on stage.

In his directorial debut for Northallerton, Adam Allinson chose to maximise the space on the stage with a simple, yet effective clear stage with stepped staging at the rear. Minimal scene changes, a clever use of a central gauze and the use of a walk along platform around the Orchestra pit and into the audience worked incredibly well with such a large cast and complex dance routines.

The orchestra, brilliantly led by Trevor Wilson, worked well will the cast and it was clear a lot of work had gone into the musical side of the show as the harmonies, especially from the ladies chorus, were very evident and blended effectively with the main melody lines.

I must give special praise to the junior chorus, although they did not have much movement in the show, their vocals were fabulous and they kept their discipline and concentration for the whole production.

The show opened as Jenny Whittaker begins to tell the story of Joseph, a huge role and wonderfully cast. Jenny had a lovely warm feel about her and her vocals were perfect throughout, the high notes causing no issue. She also successfully kept up the pace of the show, linking all of the other performers and their sub-plots together.  

In the title role, Joseph Arnott playing Joseph, had the character to a tee, displaying all of his emotions through the story. Cleverly using the front walkway of the stage, his vocals commanded the stage and for such a large role he confidently held the focus of the audience through what are effectively the ballads of the show.

The smaller Cameo roles can make or break any Joseph performance and thankfully the casting of these roles was perfect. Adele McNally had the wonderful evil glint in her eye as she cleverly seduced Joseph with a very cheeky dance routine carefully being observed by her grumpy husband, played by Mark Bradley. In the role of Jacob, Ian Smith was an ideal choice, great reactions and expressions as he interacted with his sons, wives and the love of his life Joseph.

I loved the energy from the Brothers, they really do have a huge role to play in this show and NMTC did very well to recruit an almost full male team for this show. Kimmi Chapman as the solo female brother was brilliant and did not look out of place at all.

You could not help be drawn into all of their big musical numbers and every one of them gave 110% to every scene. Special praise must go to Phil Bargewell and Joey Knowlson who not only led 2 of the main songs (One More Angel and Those Canaan Days) but also doubled up as the Butler and Baker. They had the audience in stitches with their portrayal of these roles.

Will Jackson had the scene of the show in the role of Pharoah. Bursting onto the scene in a stereotypical Elvis costume and wig for Song of The King, he commanded the stage with strong vocals and brilliant comic timing and I must praise the use of Cheerleaders and American Footballers to bring the scene to life. I wasn’t sure at 1st but it was brilliant and gave the song a lively feel with a strong routine that it deserved.

The routines were the show stealer for me, the ladies Chorus in particular were non-stop and in perfect sync with each other throughout. Each member with their own personality and never dropping their vocals despite being permanently on the go. Praise to Adam Collinson who choreographed the routines and Jasmine Smith as Dance Captain.

The show finally closed out as Joseph regained his Technicolor Coat as it took over the stage however it still did not upstage the brilliance of the costumes throughout the whole performance which were splendid. I loved the Abba Style costumes and routine in the Act One finale, Go Go Go Joseph. Huge well done to the whole costume team.

This version of Joseph closed out with a number of repeats of songs from the show and the audience, singing along, clearly had clearly appreciated a very good production as they rose to their feet to acknowledge the hard work of the cast and crew.

Congratulations to everyone at NMTC,  I am eagerly looking forward to your next production.