Based on the story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a well renowned musical, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyrics by Tim Rice. This show has been celebrated for many years, due to its family-friendly nature, humour, and memorable soundtrack. It has been performed in many adaptations in productions all over the world.
Aspect Theatre have just begun their eight day run of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Shirley Burke Theatre in Parkdale, in what is an enjoyable show that’s a good night out for the whole family.
The opening is presented very creatively, and highlights the incredible vocal talent of Carly Daley, who plays The Narrator. Daley is a fine casting choice for the role, and her ability to use her singing skills to bring both intimacy and power to the stage is wondrous. Not only is Daley a great vocalist, but her humour in the role shines too, especially notable in the song ‘Benjamin Calypso’, where her facial expressions and dancing had the audience in stitches. Also to be commended is Bradley Marshall as Joseph, who is both a great vocalist and actor, making a strong debut in amateur theatre in this role. Marshall’s portrayal is well done, making Joseph very likeable, and allowing the audience to sympathise with the character throughout the story. The rest of the cast are to be congratulated, especially the members of the Children’s Choir, who do a fantastic job.
The costume team do a good job in working with such a large ensemble, keeping costume design simple and minimal. This simplicity works well with the characters of Joseph, Pharaoh and The Narrator, but isn’t as effective with the rest of the cast. While colourful, a lot of the costumes throughout the show don’t give much context to the narrative or scenery. While small add-ins like hats, coats and vests attempt to provide that context, it’s still kept very minimal. A little more detail could have really enhanced and added to what is a very talented cast.
Set design is another facet of the show that, with a few more components added, could have been much more effective. Design is simple, and allows the cast to move around the stage easily, but doesn’t give clarity to where a scene is taking place. With scenes taking place in locations such as a prison cell, or Egypt, a few extra set pieces would have been a great asset to define these settings. That being said, this is made up for with lighting design that goes above and beyond. The lighting has a colourful and impressive vibrancy that really highlights the stage quite well, and adjusts perfectly with the mood of each scene. Designer Michael Richardson is to be congratulated for his work.
The sound for this show is fantastic, and is an absolute highlight of Aspect’s rendition of this musical. Sound designer Kyle Smith does an incredible job of balancing the levels of the orchestra with cast vocals. This show is entirely sung-through, and maintaining that balance and adjusting it as each character begins a new musical number is a tough feat, and Smith has delivered on all fronts. Malcom Huddle and the band sound great, and play with perfection and precision. Especially impressive are the numbers ‘Jacob And Sons’, ‘Go, Go, Go Joseph’ and ‘The Brothers Come To Egypt’, which all sound wonderful from both the orchestra and cast.
Aside from a few numbers that present great displays from featured dancers, choreography for this show is kept very basic and light. This works well in parts, despite moments where a cue was missed, or a step was too early. These small details will no doubt be refined by the cast as the run of shows continues, and shaky moments are minor in the scheme of an ensemble cast that do a good job overall. Direction for this show is another strong point, and director Rhylee Nowell does a great job in connecting these characters with the audience.
Overall, Aspect’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an enjoyable evening that will appeal to the whole family. It’s very clear the cast are having a great time, really giving this community production that ‘sense of community’ vibe. Aspect have put together a good show, that while lacking in certain areas, makes up for in others. A nice choice if you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly show that will have you humming some catchy tunes on the way home.