Review: Young theatre company dazzle in debut show

York Light Youth in rehearsals for Joseph
27 Oct 2013 @ 9.39 pm
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York Light Youth in rehearsals for Joseph
York Light Youth in rehearsals for Joseph

Review: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Venue: Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Saturday, October 26

York Light Youth are a new company, only formed in August as part of York Light Opera. With just eight weeks of rehearsals behind them their first show, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was a huge success.

Joseph was already one of my favourite shows. I love the story, the songs, the colourful costumes – and this production didn’t let me down.

As they’re part of York Light I had high expectations, which were more than surpassed. This young cast were truly talented and professional. It certainly didn’t feel like an amateur or debut performance.

It looked like a full house for the performance, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves, many joining a standing ovation at the end of the evening, myself included.

It’s hard to pinpoint the best bits of the show, there were so many. But many of the highlights came from the brothers.

Their performance of One More Angel / Hoedown in pink felt cowboy hats with diamanté trim and pink and white checked scarves, and the masculine cowboy music had a decidedly camp feel that had me crying with laughter.

Levi (Sam Rippon) was even camper dressed as a French garlic seller singing Those Canaan Days, the French outfits and accents from all the brothers brought even more tears of laughter. The Benjamin Calypso was excellent as well.

The part of Mrs Potipher was played by Chloe Shipley after original cast member Georgia Chapman had to pull out due to a broken foot. She gave a very adult performance with her hip swaying and seduction, her red floating costume was one of the best costumes of the night.

One audience member was heard to say it was as good as any West End performance she’d seen

Finn East as the baker had us laughing again with his broad Yorkshire accent, reminiscent of a Warburtons advert.

Dominic Weatherill as Pharoah / Elvis put in a good performance, although it’s hard to properly appreciate the Elvis moves when he was wearing a dress!

Narrators Megan Overton and Ria Williams had beautiful voices, which really combined well together.

Without a doubt the star of the night has to be 18-year-old George Stagnell as Joseph. (I confess to being besotted with his stunning blue eyes, and yes I did notice them despite him wearing nothing more than a short skirt for most of the production). He has an amazing voice and stage presence, and gave a very professional and strong performance.

The whole cast and crew deserve huge congratulations for their performance. Their enthusiasm and ability shone through, and the energy was still there in their encore

They looked as fresh and eager as when they first walked on to the stage, leaving the audience disappointed that the show had ended.

The final act was very colourful as the entire cast spread out the tail of Joseph’a coat across the stage, and credit has to be given to the costume designers – it was incredible.

It was a performance that did this young debut company proud. One audience member was heard to say it was as good as any West End performance she’d seen. If this is how they start off then I can’t wait to see what they can do in the future!

  • York Light Youth will be returning to Joseph Rowntree Theatre in May with High School Musical and in October with Les Misérables. They will be holding auditions for those aged fourteen and over