Tuesday, June 18

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Holden Hall

‘Way, way back many’ months ago Alderley & Wilmslow Musical Theatre Company (AWMTC) were dealt a huge hammer blow following the discovery of RACC concrete at their planned venue (NK Arts) for their next show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which was due to play there in January this year and its subsequent closure on safety grounds. Now 4 months later tonight the show had a triumphant opening night at their new venue Holden Hall at the magnificent Cheadle Hulme School.

Along with many other people, Joseph was my first introduction to theatre apart from the school nativity and the show holds a special place in my heart as a result of it being my mum’s favourite show. Tonight, AWMTC did this show more than justice with first class performances from the first note to the last.

Led by Sophie Lord (Narrator) and Myles Ryan (Joseph), both were immaculately cast and were faultless all night. Lord as the narrator holds the whole show together remaining on stage for the majority of the 2-hour show with her performance of Pharoh’s story being my personal highlight. Ryan understood the emotional journey Joseph goes on in the story and his version of ‘Close Every Door’ was immaculate each time he performed it.

Every leading man and lady needs a strong cast behind them and this was evident tonight as Ceri Graves, Kieran Hickey – sadly unavoidably absent from tonight’s performance, we wish him well, Andy Holt, David Eades, Derek Swain, Scott Walker, Alison Williams, Gareth Badderley, Katy Thomason-Stewart, Edward Needham and Alex Connolly proved all making their roles as Joseph’s bothers their own.

Badderley as Reuben, Thomason Stewart as Simeon and Needham as Judah each had their moment in the spotlight leading various group numbers. However, the stand-out was Connolly who in the 2nd half metamorphosised from bother Zebulun into a 21st century neon clad Pharoh releasing his Elvis vibe to the delight of the cheering audience.

Bill Brown as Potiphar and David Lambert as Jacob looked confident in their performances with Lambert reminding me of the late great Henry Metcalfe who played the role more times than anyone else on countless UK tours.

Direction from Jean Clarke was assured and allowed the show to flow at a good pace. Rebecca Davies used the relatively small stage size well in choreographing this piece and had her moment in the spotlight during Those Canaan Days with a stunning solo dance. Under the Baton of Ed Nurse a generous 9-piece band sound sublime. Lighting from Megan Ashbrook was simple but well executed leaving no dark spaces on the stage at any point. Sound from Collwyn Jones was good although I would not have been offended if the volume of the cast vocals was a little higher.

11 ladies performed as the wives enhancing the larger dance numbers with Abi Frost catching my eye on more than one occasion executing the choreography superbly as well as facial expressions matching the mood on stage at the time.

To think this show nearly did not get to the stage is a frightening one and I am overjoyed it finally got to be seen and all the words of congratulation they receive will be more than deserved.

I cannot finish this review without mentioning one group of cast members that in every production of the show I have ever seen almost command a mention. I am not sure what breed of sheep were used in this production but looking at them on stage tonight I was struggling to wonder how Egypt survived 7 years of famine! Priceless.

If you have a spare evening or afternoon on Saturday, get down to Cheadle Hulme School and catch this excellent production. It does not deserve to play to a single empty seat for the rest of its run.

Joyful, energetic and uplifting. Tickets can be found at https://awmtc.org/ and must close on 1st June.

Reviewer: Paul Downham

Reviewed: 28th May 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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