Review: Audience's verdict on Joseph... Amazing!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Teesdale Operatic Society
AT the end of a week dominated by parties (did they, or didn't they?), Plan B and even possibly a Plan C, it’s fair to say we were in need of a lift, so the timing of Teesdale Operatic Society’s debut show couldn’t have been better.
The choice of entertainment was just right – I mean, who doesn’t love Joseph?
It’s all of two years since I reported on the society’s launch, so this production, inevitably delayed 12 months by Covid, has been a long time coming.
With no back catalogue to fall back on, the audience took it on trust they would be in for an enjoyable couple of hours – and so it proved in spades.
Joseph travels well.
It’s half a century since Andrew Lloyd Webber, still a teenager, and Tim Rice, barely 20, sat down to write the 20-odd tunes that make up the story of Joseph, Jacob, his sons and the Pharaoh.
For goodness sake, it’s 30 years since Jason Donovan took Any Dream Will Do to number one and yet the show continues to be a huge crowd pleaser with young and old, judging by the near capacity audience packed into The Witham for opening night.
Simply getting the show to the stage has been a huge logistical challenge – and every credit goes to all those who have worked back stage, marshalled by director Dawn Trevor.
It is a big production – The Witham stage had been extended to cope – with a large cast and live band.
So how did they get on? Quite splendidly, as it turned out.
It was a pretty shrewd move to cast Scott Edwards as Joseph. As director of drama at Barnard Castle School, he will have seen a stage or two in his time, so who better to take on the headline role and help calm any nerves of those around him, especially the many young members of the cast.
Joseph’s 11 brothers were an entertaining bunch, ranging from young Jack Roberts and Dan Newell to the more worldly wise Andy Moorhouse and Peter Cockerill.
Peter Rhodes channelled his best Elvis in the eye catching role as the Pharaoh and Karen Davison kept things moving along nicely as the narrator.
The musical numbers were very well choreographed. It was a very tight squeeze on stage and it would have been so easy for cast members to be tripping over one another. There were one or two near misses but it was a job well done on the whole.
Special praise must go to the ten-piece band, led by musical director Robert Wilson Baker. Nothing beats live music and the top notch band lifted the production to another level.
The crowd loved it, many singing and clapping along throughout and treating the cast and musicians to a huge cheer and standing ovation at the end.
This was just what the doctor ordered in these troubled times and let us hope we don’t have to wait another two years for Teesdale Operatic Society to be back on stage.