Theatre review - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Pendle Hippodrome, Burnley

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - Credit: Archant

The spectacular Basics Junior Theatre School are back with their performance of one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most famous musicals.

The quaint stylings of the fabulous interiors of one of Burnley’s most historic theatres was plunged into a burst of colour and light as the truly mesmerising Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat was performed by the senior students of the theatre school.

The school once again spared no expense in showcasing a wonderful professional piece of musical theatre with lavish staging, lighting, colours and smoke as the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics from Tim Rice burst onto the stage flowing delightfully against a backdrop of colour, while at the forefront, our next generation of young theatre stars perform.

The theatre school deserve much praise for the dedication and commitment they give into putting on a show and to do so in such a professional manner. With the performance date brought forward by nearly two months, it gave them even less time to prepare and to work with the children ensuring that the show would be successful. Richard Sanderson’s wonderful direction has to be noted with fast moving, pacey scenes that also allowed him to put his own mark on the show with some innovative ideas alongside some phenomenal choreography from Helen Cheung and excellent musical direction from Andrew Mitchell which brought it all together.

The plaudits and all the superlatives though belong to the wonderful students who have also worked extremely hard for the show which deservedly paid off. With no spoken lyrics the show is song after song with colourful dance routines in between and a touch of the modern age brought in to update the musical. Backing vocals and harmonies on the evening were provided by the stars of the junior school who were magnificent with their support.

The lead cast gave very strong performances with Blake Morris, Ellie Cook, Jack Roche, Claudia Humberstone and Sandy Pollard offering wonderful vocal talent. A comical, yet detailed and accurate performance of the Pharaoh came from Bradley Ellor who sung his piece in the style of Elvis complete with the King’s trademark moves adding something different to the story.

Oliver Driver was given the duty of playing the lead role as Joseph and he handled the role extremely competently accompanied by a strong singing voice and very assertive performance.

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Jess McGlinchey really stood out as the Narrator gliding effortlessly across the stage between scenes and displaying an amazing singing voice alongside a confident performance. Her vocal talent is superb proving her ability to sing different style songs at different ranges. With this being her last performance for Basics, you can only assume Jess will be going on to fulfil her potential and become a huge star in musical theatre one day.

Every year I have the absolute privilege to watch the Basics Theatre School perform and every year the show gets better. As one set of students leave the school to fulfil their potential, the next batch of stars arrive to display their amazing abilities and breathe life into the culture of North West theatre. With very little experience, the students still manage to put on an amateur performance to a professional standard and the deserved standing ovation they received at the final curtain is testament to that fact.

The show continues up to and including Saturday 17th October at 7:30pm with a matinee performance also on Saturday 17th October at 2pm.

To book tickets visit the theatre website at For more information regarding the theatre school you can visit their website on