Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Company [BBLOC]    Bournemouth Pavilion, Bournemouth

 Chelsea Ball  4 October  2023

Well, they’ve only gone and smashed another show, haven’t they?! BBLOC have, once again, blasted onto the Pavilion stage with a gorgeous spectacle of talent, colour and joy.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of Lloyd Webber’s best known musicals and is, arguably, one of the best-known musicals full stop. It’s a fantastic entry-level musical for kids, which ignites a sense of nostalgia for those of us who watched it for the first time 25+ years ago… and a sense of wonder for anyone lucky enough to be seeing it for the first time. It’s a show that naturally comes with extremely high expectations, and these expectations were met tenfold. I’m not ashamed to tell you that I cried at varying intervals from start to finish, and have woken up a bit dehydrated this morning!

The staging was simple, but incredibly effective with brilliant use of spacing and lighting. The entire movement of the cast up and down the steps and around the stage was so slick, a real testament to the direction of Helen Barrington who had the challenge of directing the huge cast. I’d describe the whole thing as a well-oiled machine, with moving parts constantly which really worked. There was so much detail in some scenes that it was difficult to know where to look to avoid missing anything.

The costumes were absolutely fantastic, with so much vibrancy and colour adding to the production. You could be mistaken into thinking that the cast is triple the size it actually is through the swiftness of some of the costume changes seen. The hair and makeup were all on point too.

Kids, teachers and wives alike were featured on stage a lot during this production, so a huge nod to them as they must have all had an incredible amount to learn and remember. It really did add to the sound, which is something BBLOC are extremely well known for, and certainly did not hold back on in this production. Ian Peters should be proud of his work with both the cast, and with the orchestra. The balance of singing and orchestral sound was truly perfect.

It was refreshing to see two Narrators instead of the classic one in this show. Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave featured throughout the show and kept us entertained with their cheeky approach to the roles, and their vocal ability which blended together beautifully.

The brothers are a key part of the show, and they were all brilliant. Showing differing personalities, exuding fun and mischief, and just genuinely appearing to have the best time. Edward Brennan, Rob Pike and John Bishop all did a brilliant job of singing their rather iconic songs. A particular favourite of mine was ‘One More Angel In Heaven’, which just blew the audience away with its energy, joy, spirit and choreography.

The show is not a show without a perfect Joseph, and Matt Stockham was absolutely perfectly cast. He really shone throughout, with perfect vocal ability and fabulous acting talent. He brought the house down with his version of ‘Close Every Door to Me’ and quite rightly so, it was stunning.

So, to conclude, the show was blummin’ brilliant and you’d be silly not to go and see it if you can. It’s on until Saturday 7 October evening at the Pavillion in Bournemouth.