Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat starring Tony Kenny and Brendan Grace at the Olympia Theatre.

With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ is based on the story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and his coat of many colours from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.  

The musical at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre has been attracting rave reviews. With rehearsals underway. Brendan Grace is getting to grips with his role of Narrator, which includes dancing and singing. 

This is something totally different

Like any other actor in this production, the funnyman is sticking to the script, Although there will be no ad- libs he does hope to have a personal input. 

I’m possibly going to add little bits of colour, like everybody else.

London born Mavis Ascott is the choreographer. She has not seen the West End performance of this musical, preferring instead to start with a blank canvas when she first met director Alan Simpson and musical director Jack Boyle.  

Most of the cast have no formal dance training, but in such a short rehearsal time have made great strides. Mavis Ascott is confident that the cast will be reading for the opening night. Her assistant Joan takes them through a warm up session every morning for half an hour, before they rehearse.

It did worry me very much, but they’re great now

In addition to Tony Kenny and Brendan Grace, Cahir O’Doherty of The Gentry showband is the Pharoh Potiphar, and the Dublin Boys’ Choir form part of the chorus. Director Alan Simpson explains that this show is

The grand opera of musicals.

Other similar shows have specific sections of spoken dialogue, music and dance.  The challenge in ‘Joseph’ was for the directors and the choreographer to collaborate and create a production where

Everybody is singing, moving, dancing, more or less simultaneously.

This report for ‘Tangents’ was broadcast on 7 March 1974.  The reporter is Doireann Ní Bhriain.