Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Date 7th June 2018
Society Diva Productions
Venue Carriageworks Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Andrew Ashley
Musical Director Jonathan Wilby
Choreographer Kimberley Baker

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Author: Christine Castle

How full of envy I felt on being at this brilliant production of 'Joseph'! I was just born too soon to be able to take part!!  But I also felt a great deal of pride that, in my District, I have such talented young performers who literally took my breath away with their amazing stagecraft - I am so pleased that amateur theatre is safe in their hands - and for some, a glittering professional career must beckon.

This inaugural Diva Youth production was created in the skilled and expert hands of Andrew Ashley as Director/Co-producer, with Andy Fretwell as Co-producer. What a team!  Andrew directed this iconic piece of musical theatre very well - not a move or action was missed. A simple set had been used, comprising of two staircases with a central playing area and sliding doors, which came to life with expert and professional lighting. Although there were nearly 50 cast members (with additional voices off stage), it did not seem in  the least overcrowded - but I would have loved to be at rehearsals to watch how this was achieved!  The vocals and unseen band were directed by Jonathan Wilby as Musical Director, again, brilliantly. The young cast's mature voices were second to none and were coached by Jonathan - their diction and musicality was excellent throughout.

Kimberley Baker was responsible for the exciting choreography throughout - I particularly enjoyed the Female ensemble dance moves. The hard-working Dance Captain was Laura Hancock.

Every member of the cast worked with my favourite two 'Es' - energy and  enthusiasm!  I appreciate this was a team effort, but I must mention two performers - Joseph Button as 'Joseph' and Aimee Townend as 'Narrator', both giving first-class and sensitive performances in their lead roles.

I always give credit to the backstage team, headed by Gary Kidd (Stage manager) John McBride (Head of Stage) and Crew. Jamie Hudson and Andrew Ashley (Lighting Design) Tom Bracker (Sound) Susie Rowley (Props). Imaginative costumes by Emma Ibbetson, Julie Kidd (Wardrobe) and Lesley Cannon, Front of House. Without this support, the onstage performers would be lost!

It is worth noting that 'Joseph' was composed by a 17 year  old Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by the 20 year old Tim Rice 50 years ago for an end-of-term entertainment at Colet Court School. It has been added to, revived and has toured professionally for 35 years - and is still going strong!!

I watched a happy audience leave the theatre, especially two little girls skipping along, singing 'Go,Go,Go Joseph' - not seeing the adult behind, doing the same thing!  Yes, me!

My sincere congratulations to you all!