Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat [1] is a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

The play

First presented as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London in 1968 and was recorded as a concept album in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970 and expanded recordings in 1971 and 1972. While still undergoing various transformations and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973, and in its full format was recorded in 1974 and opened on Broadway in 1982.

Performance history in South Africa

1974: First produced in South Africa by PACT opened on 19 November at the Alexander Theatre (though, interestingly, no South African productions are listed on the official website!). It was directed by John Hussey, choreographed by Geoffrey Sutherland and starred Richard Loring (Narrator), Bruce Millar (Joseph), Alvon Collison (Pharaoh), Nic van der Merwe (Reuben), Roderick Alexander (Simeon), Peter van Dissel (Levi), Sandy Robertson (Naphtali), Ranan Lubinsky (Isaachar), Michael Tipper (Asher), Jan van Niekerk (Dan), Terry van Zyl (Zebulon), Renier van Wyk (Gad), Gordon Tucker (Judah), Colin Schachat (Benjamin), Alphonse Lee (Jacob), Esbe Linsonn (Jacob's Wife), Claire Robins (Potiphar's Wife) and many others. The musical went on to become one of the performing arts council's greatest money-spinners, often repeated, and kick-started the careers of many of the artists involved.

1975: Re-staged by PACT, directed and choreographed by Geoffrey Sutherland, based on the original 1974 production by Sutherland and John Hussey. The cast included: David Gilchrist (Narrator), Jody Wayne (Joseph), Terry Lester (Pharaoh), Terry van Zyl (Reuben), Andre de Kock (Simeon), Richard Cox (Levi), Michael Ashton (Naphtali), Neville Style (Isaachar), Keith Anthony (Asher), Robert Butler (Dan), Paddy Gibb (Zebulon), Michael Tipper (Gad), George Ballot (Judah), Gordon Tucker (Benjamin), Ian Kennedy (Jacob & Potiphar), Dianna Bailey (Jacob's Wife), Zahava Briscoe (Potiphar's Wife) and others.

In 197* Tim Rice came out to perform in the PACT show, playing the role of the Pharao. Numerous other versions were done in the country over the years.

1983: The tenth anniversary production of PACT's 1974 production with many of the original stars was directed by Richard Loring at the State Theatre, Pretoria, from 17 December 1983 to 14 January 1984.

1989: Presented by CAPAB opening 28 June at the Nico Malan Opera House, directed by Norman Furber, musical direction Johan Laas, designs Dicky Longhurst, lighting Mark Behrens, with André Schwartz as Joseph, Johan Engelbrecht as the Narrator, Lawrence Hilton as Pharaoh, Anton Stoltz, Randall Wicomb, Paul Buckby, Alfred Rietmann and others.

1989: PACT Drama's fifteenth anniversary revival with Ian von Memerty as the Narrator, Paul Buckby as Joseph and Greg Plotz as Pharoah, also starring Stephen Breger, David Scales, Rory Rootenberg and John Lesley, among others. Choreography by Sandy Dyer, musical direction by Bryan Schimmel.

1994: Opened in the State Theatre in Pretoria on 23 May, with Mark Richardson as the Narrator and Robert Finlayson as Pharaoh, directed by Bryan Hill.

1998: Staged by the Port Elizabeth Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

2004-2005: Staged by Pieter Toerien and The Really Useful Group at the Montecasino Theatre, directed by Paul Warwick Griffin, with Earl Gregory as Joseph and Anne Power as the Narrator. Musical direction by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, choreography by Timothy le Roux, assisted by Duane Alexander, sets by Gareth Hewitt Williams & Paul Warwick Griffin, costumes designed by Craig Leo and lighting by Jannie Swanepoel.

2016: Staged by Pieter Toerien and The Really Useful Group, directed by Paul Warwick Griffin, at the Montecasino Theatre with Earl Gregory as Joseph, Bianca le Grange as the Narrator and Jonathan Roxmouth as Pharoah. Other cast members include Dean Roberts.

Sources

Wikipedia [2].

PACT theatre programmes, 1974, 1975, 1983.

CAPAB theatre programme, 1989.

Scenaria, (114), July 1990. 30-31.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

Business Day, 5 August 1994.

http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=40040

The Star, 7 December 2004.

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