Joseph Roundup

Thank you very much to Dee Way for reviewing Joseph – her report follows below, with performance comments being given to individuals in person.  Thanks also to Evan for his photos from Saturday night, these can be seen on Facebook.

‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber

Wootton Bassett Light Opera Society Junior Section

Performance date: 14 July 2017

Reviewed by Dee Way, District 14 Representative, South West Region

Thank you for your kind invitation to review your production of ‘Joseph’.  This is a wonderful show, full of catchy tunes and good lyrics that make the audience laugh.  The production business can be elaborate or fairly simple, but the show is quite complex to stage well, as the scenes change quite quickly and the narrators carry the storyline. Hence clarity of words and good body language are vital to this show. However, for this inclusive group, everyone who wants to can take part, leading to enormous enthusiasm and enjoyment all round.  Congratulations are due to all those who helped the group to stage this production – they must have worked really hard!

The way this production was organised was intriguing.  There was both a conductor for the singers out in front and another for the small orchestra set behind the stage – who played very well throughout. The scene changes were undertaken by the cast on the whole, which worked very well and the main parts were well performed. There was also a large chorus of young children who were very entertaining whenever they came on stage.  At times the balance between Joseph and the chorus needed attention, and occasionally the radio mics were not adjusted quite right, but on the whole this was an enthusiastic and well-organised production.  The costumed welcome was nice, but it can be good to keep the main characters backstage, so that the element of surprise is not lost.The set was nicely varied, with a simple setting for the opening of Act 1.  There were a lovely bowl and basket down stage right that somehow indicated both the geographical location and the historic period of the show.  The move to Egypt was very nicely suggested with the mid-stage curtains drawn to reveal a golden pyramid and sphinx.  The prison cell was very effective, using the shell of a hospital screen, while the hieroglyphs on the walls were lovely!  The emergence of Pharaoh from the pyramid was very inventive and worked really well, with the chorus taking up Egyptian-style poses.  I also liked the use of a star cloth behind the pyramid and the outline of a building – very atmospheric.

The choreography was good in that it was fairly simple and very effective.  The use of hand jive, shoulder hitches and sways worked very well because they were performed well – and with big smiles!

The costumes added a lot to the production, in showing the poverty of Jacob and his family contrasted beautifully with the richness of the Egyptians.  Potiphar’s jacket was splendid and his wife’s costume was very good.  I really liked the removable collars and cuffs – they looked very impressive – as did the chorus’ costumes in the opening of Act 2, when they wore jewelled collars and golden wings.  As for Pharaoh, his white suit was wonderful!

The lighting was used to very good effect, with disco colours for the first scene in Egypt and some very good effects for Joseph’s cell.  The effect of the glitter ball at the finale was nice, too.

The sound had a few more problems on this occasion, possibly because of on stage costume changes.  Mics were left on at times when people were back stage but only the odd comment floated through.  It was the balance between the singers and the band that could have been more balanced, as at times the audience could only hear the chorus and not the soloist or the band was a little too loud. Perhaps this is something to work on?

All in all, this was a lively, inventive and colourful production of a timeless musical favourite.  The audience loved it and it was well performed by such a young group.  Congratulations to everyone involved!

Pinocchio Cast

Another lovely afternoon of auditions – thanks to all for a great atmosphere and good humour throughout! Cast is as follows, rehearsals start in September/October, chorus still to be added.

Pinocchio –  T.k. McCue
Barbie Botox – Ben Robinson
Gepetto  – Stuart Dark
Jimmy – Ross Bathurst
Polly – Citty Aspell
Trick – Helen Good
Tease  – Brooke Bathurst
Sugar Sweet  – Kate Davidson
Powder Puff –   Margaret Oakley
Wander – Dee Aspell
Stromboli – Simon Blake
Molly – Amber Burn
Ollie – Lane Stow

Joseph Colouring Competition

On the 14th and 15th of July WBLETS, the Junior section of WBLOS, will be performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat at the Memorial Hall.

Tickets are available from the post office or online. To enter please colour in Joseph’s coat so it becomes his coat of many colours.

Put your name, age and a contact telephone number on the back of your sheet.

Then deliver it to 17 Garraways, Woodshaw, Royal Wootton Bassett.

Download the picture here!

Entries must arrive before the 14th of July.

All entries will be displayed at the performances and will be judged by the town crier.

The winner will receive a host of Joseph related goodies.

Producers Auditions

Auditions for The Producers will take place on Sunday September 10th from 2pm, and are open to all.  There will be audition prep on Wednesdays, starting on August 23rd.  Facebook event here.

Max Bialystock is described as selfish and greedy – a man who is only interested in making money. Though this is later proven untrue, Max’s fiery and sarcastic nature can be very intimidating. He is willing to do anything to make money (including “shtupping every little old lady in New York”) and is often angry, short-tempered and unwilling to cooperate nicely.

Leopold “Leo” Bloom is a mousy, nervous and fearful accountant, prone to panic attacks and who keeps a fragment of his childhood blue blankie in his pocket to calm himself. Nevertheless, it is Leo who has the idea of how to make money from a failed play.

Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson Bloom is a young Swedish woman who becomes Max and Leo’s secretary. Ulla is the one who comes between Max and Leo and she runs off with Leo to Brazil.

Roger Elizabeth De Bris is a flamboyantly gay theatre director, described by Max Bialystock as the worst director to have ever lived, and was chosen by Bialystock in an attempt to ensure that Springtime for Hitler would flop. He lives with his equally flamboyant partner Carmen Ghia and his production crew in a house described as an Upper East Side town house in New York.

Carmen Ghia is the partner of Roger De Bris. Another gay and flamboyantly part.

Franz Liebkind is a former Nazi who has penned an admiring musical tribute to Adolf Hitler, titled “Springtime for Hitler”. The two protagonists, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, purchase and produce this “worst play ever written” as part of a plot to defraud investors by overselling and staging.

The music auditions are as follows:

  • Max: #21 Betrayed 1-166 inc. dialogue over music.  (finishing at “intermission”).  Note that the bar numbers go weird on p242, ignore these.
  • Ula: #12 When You’ve Got It… 27-end (cutting the dance break 46-54)
  • Leo: #15 That Face 1-80
  • Franz: #16D Have You Heard Entire piece
  • Carmen/Roger: #11 Keep It Gay 1-45, but singing both parts
  • Little Ladies: #13 Bialy 69-75 (every solo part) and then 116-132

The Lib auditions are as follows, to be learned where possible to give yourself the best chance of getting the part:

  • Max and Leo: p7
  • Franz: p30-31
  • Carmen/Roger: p37-40
  • Ulla: p48 “rights” to p50, into song
  • Grannies:
    • From p56: Max- ah did you bring the checkee.
    • To p57: Max- how’bout the Jewish

Max and Leo will be expecting to participate in the other auditions but only to learn p7.

Timings as follows:

  • Grannies/Max 2pm
  • Leo 3:15
  • Ulla 4:00
  • Roger/Carmen 4:30
  • Franz 5:15

Max and Leo to stay until 6, please.

If you are not already a member of WBLOS, you will be asked to pay £20 to audition (which makes you a member for the year, and is included in the show fee).  Full fees here.

There is also some useful stuff in the confidential area – check with Mike if you don’t know the password.

Pinocchio Auditions

Change of time!  Now starting 2:30!  And only singing Reach 🙂

The audition pieces for Pinocchio can be found below.  There is a description of each character at the top of each of the pieces – have a read, and contact Hay (or comment below) if you have any questions!  Full script in the Members Area.

The auditions will take place at Hook Village Hall from 2:30pm on Sunday July 23rd.

WBLOS Awards 2017

Congratulations to the WBLOS Award Winners 2017!

Brian Taylor Award for Outstanding Performance

Amanda Harper, for Lina Lamont

WBLOS Award for Contribution to the Society

Kate Davidson, for Costumes

Linda Worth Award for Development in Performance during Pantomim

Simon Blake, for Gadget

REA Award for Under 25 Performance

Alex Davies, for Snap

This year we also awarded the WBLOScars, a set of more informal awards, which were lots of fun – each winner got one of the golden statuettes pictured above!

Dinner Dance

The WBLOS Dinner Dance is on June 9th at the Hilton.  It costs £35, and is a black-tie event with a disco and the WBLOS Awards, open to all WBLOS members and friends of the society.

You can choose your menu online, as well as sending money electronically.

This year for the first time we are having some more frivolous awards too – the WBLOScars!  These are currently at the nomination stage, and you can make your nomination using this form.