Anna and the Amazing Technicolour Blog Post

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Courtesy of my foster sister’s new adoptive parents, Little Sis and I went to see the annual tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the weekend. (I would have written this post earlier but COURSEWORK happened.)

It was the UK Tour that comes to the Lyceum every year, this year’s performance starring  someone from “Any Dream Will Do” – otherwise known as “Andrew Lloyd Webber tries and fails to be Simon Cowell”. I have tremendous respect for Lloyd Webber’s music, but in person he’s not very interesting. And a bit slimy. And looks kind of like a toad.

Anyway, the guy’s name was Keith Jack, or Jackson, or Jack Keith, or… something. 

Yeah. This guy. Him.

He seems to have done pretty well for himself considering he didn’t actually win “Any Dream Will Do” – and although he’s an excellent singer, you can sort of see why. Not to say he was bad, the performance was tremendous fun to watch, it’s just  obvious that he was chosen for his voice and not his acting skills as well. He seemed to be limited to three facial expressions: happy/bemused, sad/bemused, and… bemused. He was very good at bemused.

Perhaps I’m biased, though – there will only ever be one production for me, and that’s the 1990’s movie with Donnie Osmond. Maria Friedman does the best narrator, one that actually interacts with the characters without making it cheesy, and I’ve never yet seen a guy play Joseph better than Osmond did. Guessing by the little “aww”s and schoolgirl giggles she makes whenever we watch it, I think my mother would agree – she’s had a crush on the guy for rolling on thirty years, that’s dedication.

Let’s just say that Dad didn’t look this good at the age of forty-one.

I’ve noticed something about all productions of Joseph, however – there always seems to be some sort of unspoken (or maybe it is spoken, I don’t know) rule about how to cast the brothers, a sort of  checklist.
– The brother with insane amounts of hair
– The fat brother for comedic value
– The inexplicably black brother – maybe Jacob’s even more of a pimp than the multiple wives would suggest. Invariably drafted in to sing the “Benjamin Calypso”
– The one who spends the entire performance looking bored

And the rest can be whatever you want, usually just indistinguishable skinny white  guys with beards glued on.

It was odd seeing it from the audience’s perspective, though – last time I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat live, I was IN it.  Because the touring group can’t take half a gazillion backing-choir kids around the country  with them, they just borrow the lower-school choir from a random school wherever they’re performing.

It seems funny to me now, given that these days I refuse to sing in front of anything with a pulse, but I managed to get into the choir for Joseph somehow. And so, every night for a week, I sat on a small step on-stage, almost completely hidden behind a cardboard palm tree (wasn’t a happy bunny about that last bit, it has to be said).  It went fairly uneventfully, with the exception of one night. “Joseph” was ill so instead we got the understudy, who seemed to have a certain disregard for underwear – so when it came to the second half and he bowed down to Pharaoh wearing nothing but a loincloth, a whole section of the choir saw everything. 

“THAT’S what it looks like?!”
Accurate representation of all the Y7 girls in the choir.

But like the brothers, there’s also a checklist for the kids’ choir – the kids that stand out for whatever reason:
– The one kid who’s desperately trying to catch the narrator’s eye
– “I’m here because my Mum made me”
– The kid who’s clearly trying, bless ’em, but can’t sing or clap in time for squat
– “I’m freakishly tall for my age”
– The one kid who’s clearly at least two years older than everyone else there

I’m not bitter, I swear.




2 thoughts on “Anna and the Amazing Technicolour Blog Post

    blackbirdsings12396 said:
    November 30, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Used to be obsessed to a ridiculous degree! Went to see it with my little brother, and some bits I found highly awful (extra pharoah bit, wth) but other rather good. Andrew Lloyd Webber is SUCh a TOAD.

    Marth Vader said:
    December 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Hi AnnaMay!

    I PLAYED A BROTHER IN MY SCHOOL’S YEAR 6 PRODUCTION OF JOSEPH! Not anyone memorable (I had the grand total of one solo line ‘they’ve got corn, they’ve got meat, they’ve got fruit and drink’) – Asher, the brother no-one’s ever heard of! I got a purple T-shirt with Asher on it and everything. I guess that classes me as an indistinguishable skinny white girl, but thankfully they didn’t make us wear beards.

    Also, Andrew Lloyd Webber looks EXACTLY like a toad, or maybe a slug with big lips. Also, what is up with random token black brother? I mean it’s cool that they’ve some racial diversity and everything, but making him sing the Benjamin Calypso like EVERY TIME is kind of stereotype-y (regardless of the fact that Benjamin Calypso is an excellent song). Also Jack Keith / Keith Jack ‘s teeth unnerve me.

    Also, I realise that my comment is not really relevant or interesting to you, but anyway JOSEPH!!! makes me feel compelled to inform everyone of my theatre heyday (yes, my heyday was when I was 11 years old).


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