Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Civic Theatre, Darlington
Posted by: The Reviews Hub
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Director: Bill Kenwright
Joseph is a classic among musicals. Staying true to the biblical tale in Genesis, this offering by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber has not been modernised or messed around with in any way since it was originally written in the 70’s.
The musical is sung all the way through with no dialogue apart from the occasional one word here and there. The story of the favourite son of Jacob, sold by his brothers and his trials and tribulations from being bought by Potiphar, seduced by Mrs Potiphar and his life in jail thereafter. Luckily his gift for interpreting dreams makes him a favourite of the Pharaoh and happy endings all around when he his eventually reunited with his father and brothers and wears his famous coat of many colours.
Keith Jack is billed as the star performer but in reality he sings very few of the songs in the show. He has made up for coming second in the reality TV search for Joseph though, by turning in a very mature vocal performance. And by looking good in a loin cloth.
The real star is Lauren Ingram in her rôle of Narrator. Seamlessly singing the parts of the show together. The brothers do a fine job too, with lots of fast costume changes and high energy dance routines. Star of the comic turns is Luke Jasztal with his Elvis Presley inspired Pharaoh, dressed in one of The Kings famous white jumpsuits and surrounded by adoring girls. And we must give a special mention to the children from the local stage school who sing as the chorus.
The small stage didn’t seem to deter an exceptional set design, and every spare space was utilised well. Made up of a pair of staircases where the children sit it is very simple, with extra items ‘flown in’ as needed and cardboard camels to ride across the stage on.
The different musical styles are played wonderfully by the live orchestra. From calypso, to a tango, a hoe-down and in the case of Those Canaan Days a song that wouldn’t sound out of place being sung in a French wine bar by the Little Sparrow herself.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a heavenly show to see. With a standing ovation and an encore that goes on forever, expressive singing of well written songs, comic interaction and spellbinding performances make this a show not to be missed.