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Review of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

A few months ago I got myself embroiled in a little verbal fracas (no cold meat involved) on Twitter with those that I now call my Irish friends. It concerned their production of Jesus Christ Superstar (details here) and in my opinion being slightly below par. They got quite uppity about my criticism and even suggested the likes of me could effect its success. The tour continues merrily despite me and its actually at Milton Keynes Theatre next week. I suggest you save your money. Oops naughty me.

However this convoluted intro brings me to the glorious stage school production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor [sic] Dreamcoat at Looking Glass Theatre. In the absence of knowing whether this is a musical or a rock opera (sorry another in joke), I shall just call it an "absolute joy" instead.

What this lacked in production values and budget over JCS it made up in on in earnest joy, enthusiasm and a sheer thrill of performance over making money. I mentioned to local theatre legend Weekes Baptiste during the interval that I had enjoyed Joseph immensely more than the big budget version of JVS simply because it was fun. Sure a proper critic could never say as much because they are looking at the nuts and bolts, the performance, the bells and whistles of a show. I am, trying not to look too deeply or be too philosophical, looking for the soul, the joy of performing on the faces of the performers. However, we all know that you would rarely see a proper critic at this kind of show anyway, unless their child is performing. Their loss. However I realise I have got a little too serious in this review, so lets get to proper business.

This was my first experience of Joseph apart from knowing of the famous Any Dream Will Do, I knew next to nothing. Through the performance we are led in the the story by six gloriously cool young ladies, all leather jacketed and shades. All six, Esha Mehta, Brianna Souter-Smith, Susie Clark, Frankie Warren-Waller, Olivia Hepher and Anna King-Ferguson bring confident performances and all are unique in their styles. Joshua Mobbs is also fantastic as the "Elvis" Pharaoh complete with green flashing glasses. Quite brilliant, well as are they all. Everyone brings all they have got to their performance and with twenty-nine stars on stage, they all pull together and work with each other like no other I have seen on the Looking Glass stage.

Mr James, Miss Leigh and Miss Karin have indeed created a complete package with the show which gloriously uses the whole of the theatre space. Having the ensemble singing right at your shoulder in the aisles is a shivering and magical moment. The cast move with ease around the seating and onto and off of the stage, The choreographed pieces also are a delight with the first reveal of the dreamcoat with a constantly revolving ensemble a brilliant and perfectly performed piece.

Finally I have to deal with Master Rory Traynor as Joseph. A star in every way and acting well beyond his nine year old status. Dealing with a great bulk of the show is no mean feat, but Rory holds it on his shoulders with apparent ease. His Close Every Door in particular is simply incredible. I think, or I sincerely hope, that we shall see him gracing a stage again in the future. A star is indeed born.

So a glorious fun evening played out to a packed audience and as the final epic show on the current Looking Glass stage, a totally fitting way to end. The Looking Glass is dead, long live the Looking Glass!


Performance reviewed: Saturday 4th July, 2015 at the Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was on at the Looking Glass Theatre between 1st July and 5th July, 2015. 
If you missed it, a recording of the show will be available from Looking Glass Theatre soon.

Looking Glass Theatre also has a website at http://www.lookingglasstheatre.co.uk/


Kevin And The Non-Technicolour Raffle Tickets (and non-winning).

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