Joseph | Summer Holiday Club 2017

I'm not sure whose idea it was to take on one of the biggest, most well known and best-loved stage shows in history, but at this year's holiday club, we did just that!

Over just three days, we taught our 46 keen youngsters (aged between 8 and 13 years old) a staggering 18 songs in parts, and then on Day 4 began to rehearse them, stage them all and then put the whole thing together! Quite amazingly, by the Friday afternoon at 2pm, we had ourselves a pretty spectacular show.

Of course the holiday club isn't just about putting on a production, it's also about friendships, teambuilding, ball games, making craft, painting scenery and having plenty of fun running around outside. We even found time for some quiet mindfulness sessions with some simple yoga - out in the sunshine - helping to keep us all focussed in such a crazy, busy, action-packed week. It was particularly lovely to see so many keen faces, waiting eagerly at the gates every morning, ready to embrace the day ahead, knowing there would be much exhausting singing, dancing and rehearsing to be done, in amongst the other activities. The children's enthusiasm never waned.

Every morning would start with full vocal warm-ups with Jack, teaching the children valuable breathing techniques, good posture and how to look after their voices. Quite clearly, by the end of the week, he had done his magic - the children tackled all 18 songs beautifully, with gusto and smiling faces.

Down in the bustling art and crafts room, the two Annas (Miller and Porter), were at the helm, organising colourful invitations to the show, wooden pencil box painting and papyrus bookmarks; every child was then able to take their own keepsake craft home at the end of the week. Anna P was responsible for our amazing backdrop, including the impressive mask of Tutankhamun and Anna M, as always, provided us with our super costumes, including the stunning multi-coloured dreamcoat - truly a sight to behold.

With Tara and Marianne responsible each day for registration and admin, we had a great team and everything flowed without a hitch. Thanks must go also to Lucy our Choreographer and Paul who was not only our amazing photographer for the week, but also drummed in our live band, which gave our show the extra "West End" touch!

At the close of each afternoon, Tim was able to spend a little time engaging with the children, reflecting on the story of Joseph and its relevance today, giving them the opportunity to hear God's Word in a relaxed and approachable way.

One of the huge lessons taken from the story for me, was the forgiveness Joseph shows his eleven brothers, despite their pretty awful behaviour; and on that note I found the capacity within me to forgive the fool who chose to tackle such a massive show, which kept me awake most nights, worrying about how we would manage it!

All joking aside, it was an amazing week, culminating in a spectacular production, and a good time was had by all. Many thanks to all those who kindly came to support us on the Friday afternoon - it really was 'standing room only' for the show.

Finally, the biggest thanks must go to our fantastic team of volunteers who gave up a week so willingly, enabling the club to be such a success.

As the confetti cannon showered down onto the stage and the audience cheered, I started to consider the logistics of next year possibly building an ark… after staging such a huge show, I'm guessing anything is possible!

Tina Bennett