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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

9 June 2015

We really hope you did not miss this year’s musical which was presented in Alexander Theatre at Monash last week. It was truly amazing and was certainly well received by those who attended. Joseph is a very different musical. The musical is based on a bib story found in Genesis and then it is an Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical (both famous for their musicals in recent times – Cats, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and many others and the pair were knighted for their contributions to musicals). It is an all-singing (25 songs and no dialogue), all-dancing musical and has the largest amount of chorus participation of any musical which makes it different from most other musicals. In fact, it finishes with a 9 minute all singing and dancing megamix of songs from the show with the entire cast involved in this presentation. As such, it is then ideal for a school musical production.

There were 59 in the cast and a number of other students involved backstage in lighting, sound, costumes and scenery shifting. There was some great chorus involvement in many of the songs especially in such songs as Joseph’s Coat, Go, Go, Go Joseph, The Song of the King, Benjamin Calypso and Any Dream Will Do. These were probably the most entertaining parts of the musical but were the most difficult to organise. Can you imagine organising about 60 teenagers (many with no ‘real’ dance training) to all do the same thing together in a confined space on a stage and then get them to sing at the same time? Yes and they did it so well! They made a spectacular contribution to the overall presentation of this musical. The singing by the narrators and soloists was also a highlight of this musical and a great challenge for those given that opportunity. We also had a film presentation and commentary of some information about ancient times, about Egypt, about Canaan, about pyramids, about the Pharaohs prepared and presented by two senior students which assisted our understanding of the context of the musical. All of these things contributed to the overall entertainment of this production.

Our presentation of this musical was enthusiastically received by the four near-full houses that saw it. It was another outstanding success. If you were there, you know that the students presented an excellent production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I know the students are very proud of their achievement and deservedly so. If one of them belongs to you, you should be very proud of them; I certainly am, particularly because they worked hard, they were committed and enthusiastic and because they did achieve such a high standard. They certainly deserved all the praise they received. A number of adults (teaching staff from Mazenod and Avila, Office and Maintenance staff, parents, past Mazenod and Avila students) were involved in the overall presentation of this musical and provided some excellent leadership and expertise but the students on the stage, backstage, in the band and in costumes accepted the challenges set for them and were very important contributors to the spectacle presented in the musical. It is really great to see what young people can achieve when they are given the opportunity. When they are given some encouragement and direction and when they accept the challenge they will generally perform well above your best expectations. They again exceeded mine. Given this year’s challenge, their talents, energy and enthusiasm were well worth seeing. For me it was very pleasing to see the joy and pride on so many faces.

The tradition of great musicals continues and this year’s students have again done their part in building on this tradition. Some are saying again it was the best ever, but they said that last year. It certainly rates among the best ever. Considering everything, it was an excellent production, an extremely entertaining spectacle and an extremely valuable learning experience for all those involved. To everyone who contributed in any way to this year’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat we hope you feel rewarded for your involvement and efforts.

Congratulations to everyone for your hard work and enthusiasm and we hope to see many of you involved again next year.

Ken Nailon – Director

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