Monday, 4 July 2016

Notes from the Narrator...

Yesterday we had our band call, and last night I was listening to the recordings, over and over again. And then I had to stop and take a moment to breathe. This is really happening.

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog post from my own, personal point of view as a cast member - it hasn't happened since 2015, in fact, when we did Aladdin. 

But today, for this particular show, I'm making an exception.

Joseph has been one of my favourite musicals since I was eight years old and performed it at Brighstone Primary School. Back then, I was a sheaf of corn, a member of Potiphar's household and one of the Narrator's backing singers. I remember it so vividly, right down to the dance moves - in fact, I could probably still perform those routines now!

And I remember watching the Narrator and memorising every single one of their lines, desperately hoping that one day I'd have the chance to play the role.

Who'd have thought that a dream that started when I was eight years old would come to fruition eighteen years later?

I certainly didn't!

But then again, isn't Joseph all about dreams coming true?

So who is the Narrator? What is she? Why does she exist?

The Narrator is a strange part, and a challenging one, largely because she doesn't leave the stage for the duration of the show and there are few numbers in which she doesn't sing - four, to be exact.

She's removed from the story, but at the same time is very much a part of it, interacting with every single character and weaving her way through the plot, acting as a story-teller, instigator, adviser, friend and conscience all in one.

She introduces, she engineers, she antagonises, she influences - in short, she doesn't stop!

It's story-telling with a difference, and I love it. There's something to be said for telling a story through song, and what a privilege it is to be able to tell such a wonderful story as Joseph.

The Narrator's songs aren't the big hits, they're not the iconic numbers of Joseph or the globe-trotting songs of the Brothers...

In fact, with the exception of  'Prologue' and 'Pharaoh Story', she doesn't really have songs at all!

Hers are the little riffs you hum as you leave the theatre; the single lines you can't get out of your head for days on end, the split-second moments you remember even if you can't recall what came before or after!

She's there from the start of Joseph's journey to the end of it...which is really rather apt.

The Joseph journey, for me, began in January 2015, when I began looking into the possibility of performing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - now, nineteen months on and less than a week from curtain up, I can hardly believe it's really happening.

Some days, I legitimately have to pinch myself. And if you glance at me during the very first rendition of 'Any Dream Will Do', you will see me welling up every time, without fail.

Because this, to me, is perfect.

How can it not be?

Standing on stage, surrounded by some of the best and funniest and most talented people I know, when those opening chords sound I feel a sense of pride so overwhelming that it catches me off guard at every single rehearsal.

Joseph is, by far and away, the best and most wonderful show I have ever done. It's been a nineteen month rollercoaster from Canaan to Egypt and back, and I - along with the rest of the cast, I'm sure - can't quite get my head around the fact that it's almost over.

All that's left to do now is share the experience with an audience...


Make sure you're a member of our audience this weekend by booking your tickets! Either phone 01983 823884 between 10am and 2pm or visit the Medina Theatre website to book online at any time!

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