Association of Community Theatre



Alderley and Wilmslow Musical Theatre Company

Director: Heidi Cook

Musical Director: Ed Nurse

Choreographer: Vanessa Cockburn / Heidi Cook


Pantomime is most people’s introduction to theatre and Joseph is probably their introduction to musical theatre. Most members of the audience know all the words and therefore there was a great expectation from the production. They were not disappointed with this energised revival.


Mark McEwan and Dave Nook’s composite set allowed the action to flow unhindered. The Technicolor® effects of James Merrington’s lighting design set the mood and atmosphere. The sound design by VME ensured that all the lyrics and music were in equal partnership.


The company, in all their character roles, was recognisable by the appropriately lavish costumes. I have to say it is perhaps not a good idea that tattoos are on display, and that maybe covering them with applied make-up might be better option.


The direction was very entertaining, bringing all the characters in Joseph’s story to life: the casting could not be faulted. The humour was not overlooked and it was milked for all it was worth.  Working hand in hand with the direction, the choreography echoed the visual concept which all added to the overall entertainment. All this was created by the dancers, and the enthusiastic ensemble. The approach to this piece has to be the music,and here the M.D. displayed firm control. All the cast members were musically sound, and all were accompanied by a first class band.


As the narrator, Vanessa Shields was engaging, with good diction and vocal dynamics which she used to hold the attention of the audience. The  Young Chorus was well rehearsed and made their collective mark on this most performed of musicals. Joseph’s brothers were so dramatically tuned to each other they became as one. All the actors worked for one another, and whether it was “One More Angel in Heaven” or “Benjamin’s Calypso”, every nuance was displayed.


Each part of Potiphar’s story (Brian Sumner, Alexandra Severn) or the explanation of the Butler’s (Andrew Lee) and Baker’s (Helen Lawrence) dreams were played to everyone’s delight.


One of the hardest roles to make one’s own has to be Egypt’s Elvis–gyrating Pharaoh. Stephen Clayton put his stamp all over his stylish rocker performance of the cool Pharaoh. Luke Clayton, with his boyish, charismatic charm, as Joseph had the audience hanging on to his every word.


The story was told in an almost professional style, with a finale mix which must have lifted the audience into another sphere.


They rose to their feet and danced along with the cast to complete an evening of sheer enjoyment.