A dream of a production
TEPPING into Joseph’s ‘sandals’ in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat must be daunting for any actor, given the number of celebrities who have played the title role since the musical was penned by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1968.
In the Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company’s production at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, which runs until tomorrow, Tom Widdop (Joseph) gave an opening night performance to rival that of any West End star.
His beautiful, heart-rending performance of Close Every Door Production: Performed by: Venue: Review by: Rating: was one of the many highlights of this uplifting, colourful and vibrant show.
Joseph, the musical, is based on the biblical story of Jacob’s favourite son, sold into slavery by his brothers.
Thanks to his ability to interpret prophetic dreams, Joseph shakes off his shackles and becomes the Pharaoh’s right-hand man and, in this production, Neil Broadbent, as the Elvis-like Pharaoh, sang his way straight into the hearts of the audience.
Helen Woodhead’s considerable vocal talents and warm personality made her the ideal choice as The Narrator; a challenging role but one she handled with ease.
‘Any Dream Will Do,’ performed with the angelic-looking children’s chorus, was a real tear-jerker.
Joseph’s brothers were, without exception, engaging and entertaining as well as being talented vocalists.
There were some admirable solo performances.
Joe Medlock (Judah) was particularly charismatic.
This is a production with an extensive cast and, thanks to skilful staging and choreography, the cast, dancers, ensemble and the children’s chorus (many of whom were on stage at the same time) all managed to be in the right place at the right moment.
Given the restricted space on the narrow stage, this was an impressive feat.
The dancers, performing a variety of roles, displayed a great deal of energy and enthusiasm and seemed unfazed by numerous changes into a series of impressive costumes.
It is rare that a first night attracts a standing ovation – let alone two – but the cast of The Woodhouse Musical Theatre Company’s production richly deserved the rapturous applause of the audience and standing ovations both before and after the finale.
From the outset, the performers gave the impression that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and those of us in the audience certainly did.
A woman in the stalls spoke for many when she said: “The best show I’ve seen in a long time. If it wasn’t sold out, I’d definitely come again this week.”