Seven years after it was first staged in Botswana, one of the most popular musicals the world over, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is set to thrill audiences when it returns to Maitisong at the end of this month.
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for a school Easter concert in 1967, the musical is a lively interpretation of the Biblical story about Joseph of Canaan; it grew into a full length musical later and was further revised and expanded in the mid 70’s, eventually making it to Broadway in 1982.
The show was first staged in 2005 when it took Botswana by storm with the then president Festus Mogae visiting it three times, according to the director, Stuart White.
“The goal for us then was to put up something comparable to what you might see in the theatres of New York and London. That was the benchmark. With no national theatre and all that, it comes with such an experienced stage, sound, lights and costume crews…this proved quite a challenge. Seven years on and we are again taking on that challenge and trying to give Batswana a world class theatre experience,” reminisced White.
He was addressing a press conference at Maitisong on Thursday.
White said he and his cast share the dream that the show will touch the hearts of young and old and encourage audiences, singers, dancers and musicians to embrace theatre in Botswana.
“Everyone involved has given selflessly to produce a memorable result.”
White said that it seems fitting that the show is about a boy who overcomes adversity and rises to greatness.
“This cast has dealt with their own diversity, with many being unemployed, or at early stages of their career when simply affording the transport cost to get to rehearsals every night is a huge strain.”
He thanked Barclays Bank and BIHL for sponsoring the production.
The show starts on June 29 and will run until 14 July. Tickets are available at Maitisong.
Adults pay P100 while children under 12 years pay half that amount.