Review by Jo Carrick.
If you’re looking for a show to introduce your kids to the world of musicals, look no further than Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, currently being staged by Windmill Theatre Company at the Drum Theatre in Dandenong.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show. It was jam-packed full of colour, movement and wonderful talent.
Andrew Houston and Amber Simm’s magnificent musical direction and Robert Mulholland’s cheesily-appropriate choreography made this show a feast for the ears and eyes. The set was simple, but clever and allowed the cast to be all over it. There was also very innovative use of the projection screen. I was somewhat confused by the decision to have a bar in the jail scenes covering up Joseph’s face. On opening night, there seemed to be a few lighting cues missed, but I’m sure this was a teething problem, bound to improve throughout the run.
Carla White as The Narrator was more than up to the challenge of keeping the story going. Her voice was sublime, her dancing was great and she seemed to let her personality shine through. In the role of Joseph, James Terry was a wonderful choice. A stirring rendition of ‘Close Every Door’ was a highlight for me. While these two were undoubtedly the stars, they were backed up by what, at times, seemed like a cast of thousands.
All the brothers and wives were fantastic, especially Tony Baisman, Bayne Bradshaw, David Cenzato and Stan Peters. Marijke Franken has some seriously good dance moves! The performances by David Syme and Cassie Pennicuik as the Potiphars were a hoot. Aidan Niarros hammed it up as the Pharaoh. I was particularly impressed by the vocal coaching of the chorus. The gymnastic abilities of Kofi Nortey were clearly evident in the curtain call, skills which I truly hope are exploited in future productions. His is a name to remember! And the children? You are unlikely to see a more adorable group than those on the Drum Theatre stage.
As I said previously, this production of Joseph is a fantastic introduction into Musical Theatre for young people (just in time for the school holidays) with its clear narrative, great songs and energy packed dance numbers. Joseph is just plain fun, combined with great ethics and an engaging storyline for kids of all ages.