Richmond Theatre – until 14th October. Reviewed by Jess Brady
If you are a fan of Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat then it will come as no surprise to you that this touring production is a complete treat for all ages. A colourful, wonderful couple of hours with an uplifting score by Andrew Lloyd Webber brings nostalgia and that feel good feeling you hope for.
Based on the story from the Bible’s book of Genesis, we follow Joseph’s tale of being sold by his 11 jealous brothers as a slave as they realise he is their father Jacob’s favourite when Joseph receives a coat of many colours as a gift. The brother’s lie to Jacob and tell him Joseph died and bring him back the coat of many colours in shreds and covered in goat’s blood. We see Joseph hit rock bottom and rise to the top to be the Pharaoh of Egypt’s right hand man. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has stood the test of time making its first performance way back in 1968 and is a firm favourite amongst most musical theatre lovers and it’s not difficult to see why. This heart warming production is bursting at the seams with incredible songs that are easily recognisable and a joy to watch.
2009 X FACTOR winner Joe McElderry leads the cast in the title role of Joseph and plays him perfectly. He has such likeability and outstanding vocals that come effortlessly in particular when singing ‘Close every door’ [a goosebump moment for me] that it’s easy to get swept into the story and not want it to end. Trina Hill plays the Narrator and has that warm and familiar personal touch that lets you know it’s all going to turn out ok in the end as well as belting out some impressive vocals that elevate most of the songs that make this production very special. We get an equally as strong performance from Ben James-Ellis as the Elvis inspired Pharaoh and his breakout number where he explains his troubling dreams to Joseph was a total highlight. The whole cast were spectacular with tight energetic choreography, vocals and humour that leave the audience completely hooked and loving every minute of the show.
The performers, the story, a beautiful set and dazzling costumes, it’s safe to say that this production packs a punch and has you dancing in the aisles. I urge anyone who is feeling a little drab with the dark night’s drawing closer and cold weather coming to see this uplifting production as you can’t help leaving the theatre with a huge smile on your face and enjoying a great musical classic.