NODA Review of "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Society: Centre Stage Company Youth Group
Production: Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Musical
Directors: Jane Baillie and Sue Webber
Musical Director: Karen Chinery
Choreographers: Jane Baillie and Sue Webber
Venue: Haverhill Arts Centre
Date of Review: Friday 26th April 2013
Reviewer: Sue Hartwell NODA East District 7 Representative

It was good to see a packed auditorium at the Haverhill Arts Centre for Centre Stage Company’s youth production of one of the early classics by the musical duo of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on the account from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, the musical follows the fortunes of Joseph, the favourite son of Jacob, through his trials and tribulations and eventual triumph, with a wonderfully eclectic mix of song and dance. This is what makes this musical such a favourite with both performers and audiences and what a performance the youngsters from Centre Stage Company gave us!

From the very beginning, the vitality and exuberance of the cast was evident, everyone giving their all in whatever role they were playing. James Malone, as Joseph, gave a terrific performance; the quality of his balletic movements, his fine singing voice and acting ability brought together most significantly in the classic “Close Every Door To Me” number. Josie Bush as Narrator, a huge role and the vital link in the progress of the story, also gave an accomplished performance, although, just occasionally, her clarity of voice suffered, resulting in some of the lines being lost. Baran Firat, as Joseph’s father Jacob, interpreted his role well, with good interaction between him and his eleven other sons, all of them giving convincing performances, particularly evident in their musical numbers “One More Angel”/”Hoe Down” and “Those Canaan Days” – pure enjoyment!

Another fine performance, too, from Cian Harriss as Pharaoh, with his great impersonation of “Elvis The King”, which almost brought the house down. Good, too, were Arran Tosh as Potiphar and Becky Stolworthy as his not so faithful wife, who tries to seduce Joseph and causes his unjust imprisonment. The quality of the acting and dancing by the entire cast was evidence of many hours of rehearsal and good direction from the experienced hands of Jane Baillie and Sue Webber, whilst Karen Chinery kept a masterful control of both orchestra and cast in her musical direction of this vibrant and fast-moving piece.

The very simple set, designed by Sue Webber and under the stage management of Karl Hardy, worked extremely well. So did the colourful costumes and various props, including a very realistic quarter-sized toy camel on wheels, towed in by four small “Ishmaelite” merchants, which created a superb illusion and was one of many humorous moments throughout the performance.

The rapturous applause from the audience at the end of the show was a fitting tribute to the talents of this dedicated youth group. A thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting evening’s entertainment.