Written by Joanna Robbins
For three days from the 28th – 30th April, the Bailey Theatre Company and John’s Music Society presented an excellent performance Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber in Leech Hall, St John’s College.
The musical follows Joseph who is given a colourful coat by his father Jacob. Ridden with jealousy, his twelve brothers sell him into slavery and tell Jacob that he is dead. Whilst enslaved to the wealthy Egyptian, Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph resulting in his imprisonment. The Pharoah of Egypt hears of Joseph’s talent at interpreting dreams and sets him free once Joseph foresees a famine. This prevents tragedy so the Pharoah gives Joseph wealth and power. Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to (unknowingly) ask Joseph for help as they are suffering from starvation. After testing his brothers for their honesty, Joseph reveals his identity, and his family are reunited in Egypt.
The evening was full of excellent singing and acting by the whole cast supported by strong playing by the John’s Music Society. The show was engaging and funny whilst also providing some beautiful moments.
There were many highlights of the evening, from Thomas Rainford as the Pharoah channelling Elvis and as Potiphar’s wife seemingly revealing herself naked to Joseph (this got quite a few laughs from the audience!), to the mesmerising performance of “Those Canaan Days” led by Sylvie Norma-Taylor as Simeon, and of course James Barber who was an amazing Joseph.
My favourite song of the night, “Close Every Door” was heartfelt and beautifully sung and I am yet to find a performance online that I prefer! Alice Liddle as the Narrator meanwhile was a steady presence throughout the play and, like the rest of the cast, had strong vocals. The minimal set design was not a drawback given the strong cast.
‘I especially enjoyed how the Director made use of the off-stage space, with several scenes including the cast walking (or galloping!) through the audience.’
The show was a delight to watch, and I very much encourage anyone to attend more performances by the Bailey Theatre Company! You can find the Bailey Theatre Company here for news of upcoming shows and events!