Some of you may have noticed, (after a summer of me going on about it!), that we were selected to produce a range of leather goods for the brand new Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium this summer. We have been giddy about it ever since and I thought it was about time to sit and reflect on the amazing experience. Firstly what an honour to even be asked and secondly....how were we going to do it? After a couple of months working 10-15 hour days, lots of coffee, excessive head scratching, a new member of the team (Barbara the mannequin) - Team M+W managed to complete over 40 different belts, harnesses and gauntlets. All hand stitched, with both real and fake fastenings and fully adjustable for dress fittings and also for quick changes!
Each item then needed a black and white version making for a particular section of the show; the very hot summer paid off for the drying department but we had very black finger nails for a few weeks!
One very clever twist in the production was the inclusion of the children as main characters, so Barbara had to lose quite a bit of weight over the weeks and then put it all back on again as and when required!
We also had to make items look worn and so it took a while to get used to not finishing edges or cutting off parts of the leather we'd normally avoid. Everything had to look distressed, biblical and this was tough, especially when you normally have to keep everything pristine and clean cut. Character was EVERYTHING!
The design and the colours of the show were a joy to work with and being sent over the original drawings to work off was at first daunting but we then got into the swing of things. We worked closely with the fabulous costume team (we have no idea how they put so many costumes together!) to make sure the sizes could be adapted and we also had to consider which items needed a very quick change or if they were to be danced in.
Everything was taken to London for the dress rehearsals; the parcel was not let go of at any point on that journey I can tell you!
Opening night approached and even from a distance it was nerve wrecking so you can only imagine how tense and immense Press Night was - we just crossed everything as we sat in our seats with a gin!
It was just an incredible night! Jac Yarrow, as Joseph, got a standing ovation in the middle of the first act for over 3 minutes and boy did he deserve it. Sheridan Smith as the Narrator and Jason Donovan were phenomenal as you'd imagine; there were proud tears all round. Just to top it all off, Lord Andrew Webber and Sir Tim Rice made an appearance at the end congratulating the cast and crew.
So it's been a groundbreaking summer for us at Morgan + Wells, we would never have thought that we'd do anything like this and it's even more unbelievable to even see your work on the stage of The London Palladium - we are just so, so lucky and honoured.
So, if you didn't manage to grab a ticket for the sold out 2019 run, do not worry - it's back again for more Technicolor bliss in 2020.