Theatre Royal, Nottingham – until 19 October 2019
Reviewed by Boo Wakefield
Written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1965 with its first full length production in 1974, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has not lost any of its fun, musicality or entertainment value in 54 years.
This latest offering, directed by Bill Kenwright, brings back all the classic songs and music in style. It has a clever but simple set, comprising of just stairs which allowed continuous movement from the cast giving this production a feeling of high energy. The children who were the Joseph Choir (from the Attic Theatre School) sat on the stairs most of the way through the musical and gave a faultless performance.
In the lead role of Joseph, Jaymi Hensley leads the cast with confidence. His singing is polished and powerful reaching all the big notes effortlessly, and is aided by his youthful looks, appealing to the younger members of the audience.
Alexandra Doar shone in her debut role as the Narrator. Her clear, strong vocals allowed us all to follow the story of Joseph and his eleven brothers. Being the favoured son, his jealous brothers sell him into slavery, and he ends up in prison. He would have stayed there had it not been for his ability to read dreams which gets him noticed by the Pharaoh. Pardoned and now wealthy, Joseph is reunited with his family.
The eleven brothers glue the performance together with a master class of song and dance with clever new choreography by Gary Lloyd. Their melodies were faultless and added comical value to this version. Their characters changed from cowboys to American football players to French men, then Brazilians; all of which just seemed to fit into this entertaining production. And who knew a motorbike with wings would also seem just right for it too?
The standing ovation, which lasted throughout the final song, had everyone on their feet singing and clapping along with the cast. A fun packed production which should make any age smile and want to sing along!