Jospeh and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat.
|Date||5th October 2018|
|Society||Springers Amateur operatic & Dramatic Society|
|Venue||The Civic Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Director||Sharon Scott and Barry Miles|
|Musical Director||Ian Myers|
Author: Hazel Hole
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I was warmly welcomed by Wilma Smart, Front of House Manager, who told me a little about the group, which has been in existence for 35 years. This production also featured a large junior chorus drawn from Offspringers, the linked youth group. This was a first rate sparkling performance which moved along with great energy and enthusiasm from all the cast.
The 11 piece orchestra, ably directed by Musical Director Ian Myers provided excellent backing for the soloists and chorus with just the right volume and tone to add a great deal to the performance. As the storyline was virtually all sung the support of the orchestra was paramount as the show is vocally very demanding.
Alexandra Phillips as the Narrator was quite excellent in the role. She had a superb and powerful singing voice essential for this and was able to act and dance competently also. Ben Miller, who impressed as Joseph ,was well cast and had a powerful voice, particularly in Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do. Mat Smith superbly led the excellent One More Angel and Hoedown songs. I enjoyed the scene with Potiphar (Gareth Locke) and a very raunchy Mrs Potiphar (Nic Evans). Pharoah was ably played by Ian Pavelin who looked, sung and swung his hips just like Elvis! However, it was quite difficult to catch a few of his words especially around the tales of 7 years of plenty and then famine. Matt Scott as Gad led on the wistful Those Canaan Days and Ben McLaren as Judah led on the delightful Benjamin Calypso.
In fact, all the brothers and wives played their parts with tremendous ability and enthusiasm joining the adult and junior choirs as ensemble members when possible. It seemed that every member of the cast was totally involved throughout. Of course I must make a special mention of the camel trained by Richard Neve which glided so smoothly across the stage!
The junior Offspringers were delightful to watch totally immersed in the production and so well rehearsed. Not a movement or word out of place ! A team of 8 choreographers produced many interesting routines for the cast, some more demanding than others but all performed skilfully.
Full marks must go to set, sound and lighting designers and particularly to Barry Miles for the video wall design. Extensive use was made of LED lighting and this created some amazing visuals eg the Egyptian scene, the prison scene.And of course, the opening scenes showing clouds scurrying across the sun ! All very impressive !
Costumes were appropriate and mostly from the group's own wardrobe. There was a clever use of colours eg for the junior chorus and the Egyptian costumes were stunning. Realistic jackel headgear depicting the God of Embalming completed this scene.Stage management was slick with props being moved on and off without being observed thanks to Stage Manager Anver Anderson.
I talked with the 2 Co-Directors, Sharon Scott and Barry Miles at the end of the performance and congratulated them on this production. Both had enjoyed working together and paid tribute to everyone involved, both on and off stage.
We both thoroughly enjoyed this production from a very talented group and wish them well in future productions.