NODA WALES & IRELAND
REVIEWED BY LYN EMMERSON FOR JACKIE TITLEY
NEWTOWN MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
17TH OCTOBER 2018
Directors: Les Skilton and Dawn Jones
Musical Director: Sarah Astley-Davies
Choreographer: Dawn Jones
Based on thirteen chapters of the book of Genesis, the story of Joseph is always a popular choice for Societies and this production was no exception. The Company certainly brought the Old Testament to life with this age old story. I attended the first night performance and the foyer and auditorium were absolutely buzzing with excited parents and children.
The demanding role of Narrator was in the capable hands of Josephine Catherwood who did a sterling job. Never off the stage, Josephine had a good rapport with the children and her singing voice was perfect for the many different rhythms of the musical score. Cast as Joseph, Adam Jones characterised the role with confidence and aplomb. Joseph was involved in no less than fifteen musical numbers and Adam took each one in his stride, a creditable performance. Mike Clarke just looked as if he had stepped out of the Old Testament, giving us a truly believable portrayal of Jacob, father of his twelve sons. There was 'team work' amongst the brothers, they all worked well together. Andrew Bond, as brother Simeon, led the brothers in the second Act with a superb 'Those Canaan Days', excellent French accent here. The number also featured a lovely ballet sequence from dancers, Chris Gittins and Shelley Simmonds. Richard Jones, as brother Judah, later led the brothers and the whole company in 'Benjamin Calypso' which was a highlight. This show had a very large cast of forty two performers, not counting the children's chorus. Jonathan Davies – Pharaoh: Alex Oakey – Potiphar: Charlie Mark- Baker: Rob Jones –Butler: Jade Deacon – Mrs Potiphar: Amber Deacon – Reuben's Wife, all contributing to the production and fully justifying their minor role selection.
The children's chorus numbered nineteen and were more part of the production than I have seen before, each youngster was well rehearsed and disciplined – well done! The Wives, Ladies and Men's chorus gave good support with excellent singing and innovative, polished dance routines. I loved the energetic Megamix at the end of Act 2 with the whole company enjoying the experience.
Another first for Bridget Wallbank with her Set Design, and stage crew were as professional as we have come to expect from this Company. Well done Newtown MTC in the costume and make-up department. A few problems with mics the evening I attended, having said that it did not deter from the piece, and I am sure these were ironed out for the next performance. Thank you all so much for your generous hospitality and a most enjoyable evening.