Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Tour Review, Craig Chalmers, Rachael Louise Miller

Joseph - Craig Chalmers
Narrator - Rachael Louise Miller
Jacob / Potiphar - Henry Metcalfe
Pharaoh / Judah - Wayne Smith
Benjamin - Sam Cassidy
Mrs Potiphar - Camilla Rowland
Butler / Napthali - Lee Mathieson
Baker / Levi- Chris Dilley
Issacher - Jason Denton
Zebulun - Adam Hepkin
Dan - Simon Murphy
Gad - Ross Witherden
Asher - Drew Millar
Reuben - Jonathan Alden
Simeon - David Covey

We saw Joseph on the second night of its Eastbourne visit and whilst not a capacity crowd by any means the audience was a good size.

Henry MetcalfeWhy many of that audience decided they had enough in the interval and never returned is a bit of a mystery but vanish they did from at least the front 3 rows of the stalls and elsewhere.

If anybody saw this and was one of the walkers feel free to add your comments as to why.

Certainly I don't think it was due to the quality of the cast and their singing ability.

The narrator's role in Joseph is crucial and Rachael Louise Miller made a lovely narrator with a beautiful voice. There is a saying the "The Best Things Come In Small Packages". Louise may be tiny but boy is she hugely talented.

Craig Chalmers as Joseph in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatCraig Chalmers, 5th placed in the Andrew Lloyd Webber TV competition to find a Joseph (Any Dream Will Do), was excellent in the lead role.

The highly experienced Henry Metcalfe is not only an old hand acting in Joseph but is also choreographer for the production and I can't fault that choreography either.

The rest of the cast were completely professional as were the the children of the Joseph Choir from the Theatre Workshop Stage School.

But clearly many of the audience members weren't impressed, at least with the first half of the show.

I can only nit-pick at what the reasons may be:

It was clear in this production that many small elements had been changed, mainly prop related, to create new humour - maybe people thought it didn't work. Personally I didn't have a problem with this after all the songs are the same and any changes are minor. I do wonder if some who have seen Joseph shows in the past think along the lines of...... "If it ain't broke...don't fix it!"

Rachael Louise Miller - narrator in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatYou will notice that this is actually quite a small cast (credit crunch?) with many members playing multiple roles. Yet again I wasn't fazed by this as surely you must have enough imagination to detach yourself from the other character you have seen this actor play? But I guess it could be a reason.

The only other point I can come up with is the orchestra. I have to admit here I can't see why they were sunk into the lowest pit I have ever seen at the Congress. It was so low I wonder if Arthur Scargill had something to do with the walkout? (younger readers mumble "Arthur who?" and are rapidly searching Wikipedia).

I'll be honest here I don't know if it was because they were stuck down such a deep hole but the overall quality of the sound in the auditorium didn't quite hit the right note for me. At one time it almost sounded to me as if the cast were singing to a backing track rather than a live orchestra. I had to glance down the pit to ensure that the instruments I was actually hearing were actually there because percussion and strings almost sounded like they were being played on a pre-programmed keyboard.

But they were there, albeit a long way down, playing away happily........... or miming extremely well (that was a joke before any of the orchestra comment).

Overall I thought this was a great production...... I certainly didn't think it was of walk-out quality. But then again not everybody likes the same thing.

I've still awarded this show 4 stars as it has so much going for it. It takes a show well below average to make me walk and this was not a bad show by any means.

I hasten to finish on a high note that, like us, not everybody thought this a bad performance. Despite the interval walkers the performers were still rewarded with a standing ovation from many of the audience after finale........ and yes we were amongst them. 4 out of 5 for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 2009 Tour
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  1. Your comment about the orchestra, it wasn't an orchestra it was someone playing an organ. It sat in the front seats so could see him on the monitor. From your comments it shows he did a great job.

  2. I certainly agree with your comments about Rachael Louise Miller she was absolutely amazing. Fantastic stage presence.

  3. To be fair to the cast and potential audience members I think I should clarify that there was a full orchestra for this show. What you have seen is the screen the performers see showing the musical director at his keyboard. They don't need to see the rest of the orchestra/band.


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