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The Review – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Trinity Drama Productions)

The Review – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Trinity Drama Productions)

Production: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Author/s: Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics by Tim Rice
Society/company: Trinity Drama Productions
Director: Chris Chambers
Choreography: Amy Nicolls
Designer: Tara Usher
Performance date: 6th December 2019
Venue: Trinity Concert Hall, Trinity School, Shirley Park, Croydon, Surrey CR9 7AT
Reviewer: Paul Johnson

As a policy, we don’t star-rate non-professional productions but, if we did, I would have to give this school production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s timeless musical, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat a maximum five stars!

Before we all get carried away, such a full house score wouldn’t be given for the most flawless and professional performance in this musical’s history (I’m sure Bill Kenwright’s professional touring production and last summer’s big-budget, sell-out run at the Palladium would have something to say about that) – although there are a number of high-end elements to this show. But for sheer bravery, team spirit, ambition, enjoyment, audience reception, commitment, attitude and downright entertainment, I cannot fault Trinity Drama Productions’ latest show in the London suburb of Croydon.

The school is extremely lucky to have two pivotal members of staff; Director, and Head of Drama, (Mr) Chris Chambers, and the show’s MD, Head of Academic Music, (Mr) Richard Holdsworth. Through this inspired pairing you can see exactly why everything that happens onstage – well, happens. For a start, the high-quality musical production – which takes place every two years – sells out every time. This enables the production to hire its lighting equipment from professional specialists, White Light, as well as sound equipment (radio-mics etc.) from Orbital. After that it’s down to the pupils to get their hands dirty, including a couple of Year Seven boys (aged 11) to fit the principals with their microphones, plus another young pupil, Amir Shivdasani, brilliantly live-cueing the multiple vocal levels (putting many other productions I’ve seen to shame). But that’s not all… of the eighteen-piece orchestra, a whopping sixteen are pupils too. Together, under Mr Holdsworth’s baton, they make an expert and well-balanced accompaniment to the fifty-odd stage performances.


Chris Chambers, who also runs a professional adult theatre company, has done wonders to bring the show to life and his infectious positive attitude is not in doubt. Trinity is mixed-gender in its sixth form, and the decision to feature a two-girl ‘Narrator’ works well, especially for such a tricky role. Elsewhere, performances are mixed in quality but, as the second of two Josephs, Lucas Pinto, has firmly stamped his credentials on the title role. Lucas is handed the part from Tom Willmer after Joseph’s brothers sell him to a group of passing Egyptians. Pinto’s stand-alone number, Close Every Door, is well-delivered and equally well-received.

For sheer nerve Will Gao Hardy arguably takes the show’s top prize as Elvis-impersonator, Pharaoh the King as one of the big highlights of act II (and arguably the entire show). Such is his level of confidence, he even has the bravado to ‘come down into the audience’ mid-performance and woo certain members of the on-looking crowd. If he’s this good at such a young age, we can only hope Gao Hardy wants to go all the way.

In such a young a large company it’s a statistical certainty that one or two will end up in the West End. In addition to some very bright futures for one or two members of the orchestra, I predict that the faultless Elaine Jones (Narrator), as well as the aforementioned Lucas Pinto and Will Gao Hardy could carve healthy futures for themselves onstage should they wish to do so. I’ll even add one of the non-principals to this trio; Dance Captain Stephanie Joubanian shows a great deal of natural ability and should be very proud of her performance too – another big part of the show’s success.

Amateur theatre is absolutely the cornerstone of this country’s performing arts and it’s at this age that people first catch the performing (or backstage, sound, lighting) bug. And long may it continue!

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