Benenden School Perform Historic First at the London Coliseum

15.03.2024
Benenden School Perform Historic First at the London Coliseum

Benenden made history twice yesterday – not only being the first school to ever perform at the London Coliseum, but also putting on the first ever production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the iconic Coliseum stage.

As part of the School’s Centenary celebrations, students dazzled audiences with their interpretation of the hit musical made famous by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice – certainly rising to the challenge of performing in the largest theatre in London’s West End.

Students were no doubt encouraged by the presence of Roger Watson, the show’s original producer, in the audience yesterday evening. This was alongside a heartfelt message written by Sir Tim Rice, which featured in the production’s programme.

Sir Tim Rice said: “I’m delighted, and frankly amazed, that Benenden are to perform Joseph at the London Coliseum and I’m very grateful that they want to do this. Joseph was written in 1968 and I still find it extraordinary that so many theatrical presentations from schools to Broadway keep returning to the show.”

This once-in-a-generation performance was made possible by Benenden’s partnership with the English National Opera, allowing the production to go ahead in a venue usually not available to schools. Benenden’s partnership with ENO extends beyond the Coliseum performance, however, as Benenden continues to partner with the organisation to deliver opera workshops in partner prep and primary schools – in an initiative aimed at introducing new audiences to opera.

Reflecting on the wonderful evening, attended by almost 2,000 students, staff, parents, Seniors and friends of Benenden School, Headmistress Samantha Price said: “Yesterday’s performance at the historic London Coliseum was certainly a highlight of our Centenary celebrations and one that we will always cherish.

“I would like to thank the very many people that made this performance possible, from the cast and crew to those ‘behind the scenes’ – your work is hugely appreciated and will have created memories that will last a lifetime.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a production that resonates with the universal themes of resilience, dreams and the power of unity – certainly a fitting choice to reflect the ethos of Benenden School.”