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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Drama
  • Word count: 2374

"Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" was the musical that put Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice on the map.

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"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was the musical that put Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice on the map. Its humble beginnings as a simple pop cantata with a Biblical theme in a school hall in March 1968 were all part of its charm and freshness. The whole serendipity of how Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice got together informs the bounciness of the early work they produced. Webber had written music from the age of six or seven. His father was a composer, organist, and teacher at one of the leading London colleges, and his mother taught piano to young children. But in a Webber biography he talks of a life changing experience when he was asked to play the violin in a school concert: He said, 'I'm not going to do that, I'm going to play six songs on the piano, and I'm going to dedicate each one of them to masters in the school,' which he did from the stage. Apparently the reaction of the other kids led him to believe that there was something very different the pieces ... he was about nine or ten, and he'd written all the songs himself." Throughout his teenage years at Westminster School, he composed songs for student revues and indulged his enthusiasm for musical theatre in the company of his Aunt a former actress who took him on outings to the West End. ...read more.


Even outside the industry the culture is at the fore. Selfridges department store recently ran a Bollywood season with a promotion on ethnic clothes, food and furniture. It seems all things Indian are the latest trend. Maev Kennedy the arts and heritage correspondent for the guardian hit the nail on the head when she wrote about the closing of Kiss Me, Kate and the overwhelming hit that is Bombay Dreams. "Not everybody loves Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows," she said, "but what anyone in the business would concede is that Lloyd Webber has an uncanny ability almost to smell the changing mood, to sense the next big thing. Bombay Dreams is absolutely of now, a show people want to go to and be seen going to. Brilliant as Kiss Me, Kate is, it is not hip. And I think we now have to ask about the future of big revivals of classic American musicals." It seems all things Indian are the latest trend. "If a show like Kiss Me, Kate, which was done by the book of excellence in every possible respect, can't survive for a year, it has to make us all stop and think about the future. Is wasn't the reviews that killed Kate it was hailed by critics as "an unalloyed joy", "a dazzling evening" and ironically dubbed "the biggest West End hit" in the Newsnight review of the arts last year. ...read more.


The young don't see musicals as connecting in any way with their own lives, and they're right. If we can't change that, the musical is dead," The price of getting it wrong however is phenomenal. Bombay Dreams was comparatively cheap at �4.5m. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cost almost twice that whilst Cameron Mackintosh described The Witches of Eastwick as "a modest little show" at �6m. I personally really don't think you can really predict what's going to happen in theatre least of all musical theatre. I do agree with Lord Webber though when he said that it's very important to get as much new talent into it as possible. One thing you see people forget is that you cannot pirate theatres live experience, It was Michael Eisner that said he thought two things would happen, that live entertainment would grow and he thought that obviously that all the home entertainment would also grow but people don't want to stay at home all the time and that's why I think that there's a huge future for theatre, the restaurants and all, anything that's a live entertainment. Bombay Dreams Music by A R Rahman. Book by Meera Syal and lyrics by Don Black. Produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Really Useful Theatre Company For April to June 2001, released by the Society of London Theatres on Tuesday, show sales rose from �2.4m to �2.6m in the same period in 2000. ...read more.

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