They've only gone and done it again. The utterly brilliant Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Company (most known to the public as BBLOC) have smashed it out of the park with their latest production. Move over west end, there's a new wave of stars in town and they are taking the Bournemouth Pavilion stage by storm.
After their previous successes such as Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots and the Addams Family, they are venturing into the world of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice with another classic tale. This time, it's the turn of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Based on the coat of many colours story within the Bible, this musical originally created in 1968 follows a young man named Joseph who is sold into slavery and left for dead. Whilst his brothers fear that he many no longer be alive, Joseph encounters a series of wild adventures and meets some fascinating people along the way as he finds out who he truly is and where his place is within the world.
With a vibrant array of songs that everyone from young to old will know and be familiar with, it's easy to see how this will be a sure fire hit. But with some tweaks to the story, and some brilliant staging and casting, you are soon thrown into something that is truly wonderful.
Opening with an announcement and introduction from the head teacher of BBLOC Grammar, you are reminded to not use your phones (or else they will be confiscated!), or sing along during their school performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. As the show unfolds you realise that teachers become wives and dancers, and the pupils soon become the wonderful children's chorus (who might I add are brilliant for being able to remain on stage throughout nearly the entire show with huge smiles on their faces!). Even with these tweaks, the show feels absolutely perfect and only enhances the fact that this amateur production has been created by those in the local community.
Narrated by both Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave, these two front women led the show and didn't miss a beat. I honestly couldn't get over their stage presence and how they worked in perfect partnership. Lea Martin tore down the house as the Elvis inspired Pharaoh, whilst Matthew Traher portrayed the perfectly quirky and eccentric Egyptian millionaire Potiphar. The brothers all brought their own flair to the stage, but I felt that Edward Brennan and Rob Pike as Gad and Asher. Both gave amazing performances in their respective solo songs and added some wonderful humour throughout the show.
Aside from the principal cast, the star of the show had to be Joseph himself, played by Matt Stockham. I am always blown away by his performances, and his ability to adapt himself to any role he tasks himself to play. And I'm clearly not the only one as the audience gave a rousing extended applause after his performance of Close Every Door (which might I add was incredible, someone seated near us was definitely crying!). A true star of the local theatre scene.
With a set that could rival that of the west end, and costumes that looked perfect from the school uniforms, to the robes and the dreamcoat itself, you can truly tell that a lot of love and passion has gone into this show. Each cast from the youngest to the oldest took their bows with the biggest grins on their faces, and you can truly see that they enjoyed performing in it as much as we enjoyed watching it. With the roaring standing ovation at the end, you can see that the audience loved every moment of it. Go Go Go Joseph? More like Go Go Go BBLOC you've done it again!
OCtober 4, 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.
Move over Broadway and the West End…Bournemouth & Boscombe Light Opera Company hits the stage with ⭐️JOSEPH⭐️.
Opening night was wow-factor with power and pizzazz.
Lead star Matt Stockham is sensational and every actor gave 110%.
From the music compositions to costumes, production to choreography… the show kept the audience engaged from start to finish.
A special highlight is Lea Martin’s cameo appearance taking professionalism and quality to another level.
The show is oozing talent and we can’t wait to see the next production for BBLOC.
Buy the last few tickets soon as JOSEPH finishes on Saturday.
Congratulations to everyone involved. Thank you for bringing theatre to the forefront of excellence.
The Absolute Music Trust
If you and your guests are looking for something to do this week tell them to book to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre.
This production directed by Helen Barrington, Choreographed by Heather Davis, Musically Directed by Ian Peters and Production Stage Managed by Duncan Hook is faultless and spot on in a number of ways.
It was great to see BBLOC's version have two narrators rather than the usual one which was performed so well by Rosalind Lawton & Amy Cave.
Local performer and well known Lea Martin plays the role of Pharaoh who with the cast bring a dazzling part to Act 2.
Also congratulations to Matt Traher who plays Potiphar so well in Act 1
The main role of Joseph over the years in the many versions of Joseph has been played by so many iconic celebrities and performers and whoever played this part in this production most certainly had a lot to live up to.
Joseph in this production is played by Matt Stockham and wow he certainly did not disappoint. All the classics including Close Every Door & Any Dream will do was note perfect and made you feel like you weren't in Bournemouth but watching the show in the West End. The applause from the audience following his main songs were loud and long proving he was the correct fit for playing Joseph. A massive well done Matt.
BBLOC you never disappoint and this show along with many others I have watched as my time as Chair of BH Area Hospitality Association over the last 4 years have been amazing, powerful, colourful and faultless. My huge congratulations to you all.
Joseph runs at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre till Saturday 7th October. Get your tickets soon as they are nearly sold out.
The familiar musical based on the Bible's book of Genesis tells the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, and his brothers. BBLOC's production is directed by Helen Barrington and brings together a multi-talented cast, enhanced by stunning choreography by Heather Davis. The superb orchestra under musical director Ian Peters fills the theatre with thrilling music of a high standard, underpinning some big numbers as well as solos. Production stage manager Duncan Hook delivered a smooth running, impressive show.
Narrators Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave provide the continuity of the story, both with strong vocals and confident delivery. Congratulations to the children of the choir. These are not just "cute kids", they are well trained, disciplined performers and are spot on in every scene. Joseph's brothers are a highlight, with outstanding harmony singing throughout. The Benjamin Calypso features John Bishop as Zebulun, a talented singer.
Jonathan Busk as Jacob has a rich bass voice, a similar tone to the late Topol. If BBLOC ever decide to produce Fiddler on the Roof - there's your Tevye! A mention must also be made of the vocal beauty of one of Jacob's wives, played by Harriet Cross.
Lea Martin has appeared in many of the company's productions, and this time he takes on the role of Elvis-style Pharaoh, with a powerful voice and a pair of cracking sideburns! The ensemble and dancers in Pharaoh's scenes are excellent, filling the stage with glittering visuals and clever choreography. The costumes throughout are clever and stunning.
From the moment Matt Stockham strides on stage as Joseph his star quality is clearly apparent. His vocal quality is West End standard, and he is perfectly cast in the role. The show features strong singing and dancing, with comedy moments and the amazing coat of many colours. But tonight the standout moment was when Matt Stockham stopped the show with his heart wrenching, stupendous delivery of "Close Every Door". The applause, cheering and whooping went on and on, a real showstopper!
The production deserves 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, highly recommended for all ages, colourful, fun, and an excellent cast. (And look out for the camel)
IN these times of shows closing early or being pulled ahead of performance because of the lack of ticket sales, I was thrilled last night to see that the Pavilion was pretty much packed to the gunnels by an excited and enthusiastic audience who will, I hope, wax lyrical about the show to their friends and families to ensure full houses for the rest of the run.
Can there be anyone who doesn’t know and love the music from this early Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice creation? Every number is a foot-tapping joy so I was equally thrilled to find that everyone took heed of BBLOC Grammar’s Headmaster’s instructions to save singing along until the Megamix at the end of act two. In fact, having been given permission to sing along at that point, they still failed to do so, simply clapping along with enthusiasm – unruly West End audiences, please take note!
BBLOC don’t seem to put a foot wrong these days, and this show is no exception. With a dream team of Helen Barrington (director), Heather Davis (choreographer) and Ian Peters (musical director), complemented by the sterling work of production stage manager Duncan Hook in ensuring that 70-odd people make it onto the stage in good time, a head of wardrobe (Janine Long) whose costumes are simply stunning, a cast whose talent and enthusiasm is palpable and a superb orchestra, I really doubt that you would see a better production of Joseph anywhere. Chairman Darren Ellery has remarked that it is a mystery why the company had passed the show by until now, but it has certainly been worth the wait.
The principal line-up is second-to-none, with Matt Stockham filling the shoes of the titular role with an outstanding performance that is as amazing as his coloured coat, brilliantly connecting with the audience and bringing many to the verge of tears with Close Every Door To Me. This was no one-off either, as there are incredibly strong performances too from Jonathan Busk (Jacob), Lea Martin (Pharaoh) and Matthew Traher (Potiphar). The glue moving the show along is the Narrator – in this case two of them – and Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave excel. There are stand-out performances too from Edward Brennan (Gad) and Rob Pike (Asher) and the entire company gives 110%, not least the children’s chorus (on opening night the Green Team, with further performances shared between them and the Blue Team).
My final plaudits must go to all those cast members who have to ascend or descend the marvellous multi-level set. I would have been holding on for dear life but you all did it as if to the manner born.
FOR anyone who hasn't seen a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat before, I'll admit the synopsis - "based on the Bible's book of Genesis" – doesn't sound, on paper, like the premise for the most entertaining show.
But the description really is something of a mis-service. Written in 1968, it has since been performed in more than 86 countries – and Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Company's (BBLOC) presentation shows exactly why this musical has become a much-loved, family classic.
Featuring lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, it includes pop and musical theatre hits known around the world such as Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door and Go, Go, Go Joseph.
An entirely sung show may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Joseph starts as it means to go on – it's full on from the word go and the cast barely take a breath, or stand still until the curtain falls.Each upbeat number is feast for the senses – a riot of colour and activity.
The vocal performances are hugely impressive for an amateur company. Matt Stockham as Joseph and Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave as the narrators were equally fantastic, while Lea Martin made for an entertaining Pharoah.
Solid dance routines from the entire cast, and lovely harmonies from the children's choir, brilliantly accompanied by a live orchestra.
Okay, it's a little random in places – why is Pharoah an Elvis impersonator? And why is Those Canaan Days sung in a French accent? But this is musical theatreland, after all, and anything goes.
A slick, energetic production, pure family fun from start to finish – highly entertaining.
Having last seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat when I went on a school trip almost 30 years ago, I jumped at the chance to see a performance by a local amateur theatre company, BBLOC (The Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Company) at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre.
BBLOC are locally renowned for putting on a good show, with their most recent production of Calendar Girls going down a storm, so I had high hopes for their performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and I wasn’t disappointed!
We were seated in the stalls in seats H25 and H26, which was in the centre section, giving us a brilliant view of the stage and the action. Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre is a relatively old theatre, so although there wasn’t a copious amount of leg room, there was ample for the period of time we were seated.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on the ‘Coat of many colours’ story from the Bible’s book of Genesis and has become a family favourite, since it was written in 1968, featuring lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a truly formidable duo. Many famous faces have taken on the lead role, including Jason Donovan and Donny Osmond, so Matt Stockham, playing Joseph had big shoes to fill and he did an amazing job.
Before the curtain went up, the Schoolmaster appeared on stage providing the audience with information about what to expect and asking that the performance not be recorded and requesting that the audience hold-off joining in with the songs, until the ‘Megamix’ at the end of the performance. I loved how this was presented with a bit of humour thrown in and really set the scene for what was to come.
The show opened with the premise of a Schoolmaster giving the pupils a lesson in the story of Joseph. The younger performers took the parts of the school pupils, suitably dressed in school uniform, alongside their teachers, watching on as the story played out before their eyes, whilst acting as the Chorus for the many musical numbers.
There wasn’t long to wait until we met Joseph and had a rousing rendition of Any Dream Will Do. I was impressed by Matt Stockham as Joseph from the outset. He set the bar high with his amazing voice and energy. You could be forgiven for thinking that you were watching a West End Show.
It wasn’t long before we met Joseph’s father Jacob and his 11 brothers, who had a deep jealousy of Joseph, as they believed him to be Jacob’s favourite son. Jacob gives Joseph a coat of many colours and the brothers are seething. They soon sell him off into slavery, tearing his coat of many colours from him and covering it in goat’s blood. Joseph is sent to Egypt, but the brothers tell Jacob that Joseph is dead, handing the bloodied coat back to him. Cue a brilliant rendition of One More Angel and the Hoedown, where the brothers pretended to be grieving for Joseph while Jacob is around and as soon as he leaves, have a party to celebrate.
Meanwhile Joseph now belongs to Potiphar, but Potiphar’s wife had made advances towards him and when Potiphar found out, Joseph was thrown in jail. This led to one of the standout performances of the night, with Joseph singing ‘Close Every Door’, which was absolutely fantastic. Such a powerful performance, the reaction from the audience was palpable.
Act II began with the same energy and enthusiasm that had characterised Act I. The Pharoah had realised that Joseph could interpret dreams, so he set about telling his dream to Joseph, for him to decipher. It wasn’t long before we had another show-stealing moment, this time from Lea Martin, playing the Elvis-like Pharoah singing the ‘Song of the King’. Wow, it was brilliant and hilarious and the audience reaction afterwards nearly brought the house down! The Pharoah was so impressed with Joseph that he released him from jail and made him his second in command.
Meanwhile, back at home, Jacob and the 11 brothers were suffering from famine and regretting what they had done to poor Joseph and decided to go to Egypt where food was plentiful. They turned up, not recognising Joseph in his golden finery, but Joseph knew who they were. He tests their integrity to see if they have changed and when he realises they have, he reveals himself to them as their brother and they are eventually reconciled. Joseph is then given his dreamcoat back. Leading to a gloriously colourful finale, where Jacob helps him put the coat back on and the audience is treated to the sight of the coat in all it’s glory, fanned out displaying all the colours.
The musical arrangements, by musical director Ian Peters are absolutely brilliant, the orchestra played faultlessly throughout the performance. The mix of musical genres for the show is a real treat including pop, calypso and rock & roll, there really is something for everyone.
Special mention to Rosalind Lawton and Amy Cave as the Narrators who are present throughout the entire performance. Both have fantastic vocal ranges and they added so much to the entire performance and kept me engaged throughout. The show is entirely musically based, without spoken dialogue, so it’s testament to the performers who managed to keep the energy, momentum and enthusiasm for the duration of the performance, from the minute it opened to the very end with the Megamix. The standing ovation at the end of the performance was very well earned and testament to the hard work which had clearly been put into it all. Well done to all concerned!
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