Colourful musical dazzles audience

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 August, 2004, 12:00am

The audience clapped and sang along as a group of young theatre-lovers gave an energetic performance of the famous musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The one-hour show last week was staged by participants of the 2004 summer school run by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA).

The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice collaboration does not restrict action to the stage. At the HKAPA's Drama Theatre on opening night last Friday, the audience joined in the fun, cheering, clapping and singing enthusiastically as 120 students aged seven to 21 put on a show to remember.

This was all the more remarkable since they had only three weeks to prepare for the 'big day'.

The central character, Joseph, was played by 17-year-old Choi Hon-yick, aka BabyJohn, who managed to overcome self-confessed doubts about his singing skills. He also had no trouble winning over the audience with his acting and dancing skills. The pharaoh, played by Wong Sau-lam, proved popular, especially when he threw off his wig and traditional Egyptian dress to reveal a pop star in the image of Elvis Presley.

Obviously spurred on by the presence of relatives and friends in the audience, the young actors worked hard to impress. Considering the audience's response, they succeeded.

The musical is a based on a biblical story. Joseph, Jacob's favourite son, is given a multi-coloured coat which sparks the jealousy of his 11 brotherswho sell him into slavery. Joseph becomes the pharaoh's right-hand man, and is eventually reunited with his family - and his magnificent coat. This musical is known for its colourful costumes and props, and with everything from Joseph's coat to a large model of the sphinx, the performance maintained the tradition. Even the backstage crew excelled, facilitating quick and smooth changeovers in between scenes. The end of the show, which was held on two consecutive days, was a celebration for both the actors and the audience. Joseph's emotion-charged reunion with his family and the singing of Any Dream Will Do by all the performers moved the audience. When the curtain came down, the 120 youngsters onstage had a reason to be proud.



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