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Shropshire’s West End……
05 Sep 2012
by Rhea Alton

It is common knowledge among my friends that I am a fan of the musical genre….many birthdays have been spent in the big smoke with friends and family taking in another musical masterpiece and heading home raving about what we had seen.

But now there is no need for me to travel to London to satisfy my need to watch hugely talented people singing and dancing across the boards as we have Theatre Severn on the doorstep.

So last night my Mum and I headed down to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – a production that I had not seen on stage before and Mum had only seen once (at the Shrewsbury theatre during the last visit in fact).

A shifty through the programme revealed Keith Jack, of Any Dream Will Do fame, was playing Joseph and the screams when he first took to the stage showed he had many fans in the audience – which filled nearly every seat in the house!

I am not a big fan of going to a musical because of the stars that are in them as I find the cast in all professional musicals are usually hugely hugely talented and blow me away every time. But I must admit Keith Jack shone in this production and had the audience won over before the second number!

Personally I enjoyed every single second of the performance which took us through the story, made us laugh (watch out for the sheep and the camel!!) had our feet tapping and our hands clapping and even had me near tears at one point because I was getting so caught up. The only musical I have ever cried at before is Wicked and if anyone has seen Kerry Ellis perform Elphaba’s Defying Gravity number you will know why!

And at the close of the story the fun continued as the cast took us through a medley of the Joseph songs that everyone knows and our hands were red raw after what seemed like a lifetime of applause.

A standing ovation followed – a rare sight at Theatre Severn – and was thoroughly deserved for each and very cast member, as well as the students of the Chester-based Stagecoach Theatre School who provided the chorus.

Special mention must go to Lauren Ingram who I was suprised to see only graduated last year from Laine Theatre Arts. Taking on the narrator role in a Joseph production is no mean feat but she completed it with aplomb and I will be keeping my eye out for her in the future.

I also thought it was a brilliant casting move to put Sam Hallion as Benjamin – when we came to the test for the brother’s as to whether they were honest enough to stand up for him I think we all felt that we wanted to protect his character!

And I will finish with my favourite part of the night – the opening scenes where Joseph and his brothers gave us a show of their own with fantastic choreography wonderfully executed as they belted out the well-known tunes with special touches and comic genius.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on at Theatre Severn until Saturday. Get your tickets here!