Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an iconic piece of theatre with exceptional songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. This fabulous show never dates, is child friendly and covers a biblical story in a comical way without being offensive or blasphemous. Joseph must be in my top five of most seen shows. But just when you think you have seen it all, this new production takes it to a whole new level. This is West End quality touring near you. I was astounded and so very impressed. It is an absolute joy to watch and this cast have so much energy and enthusiasm, you know you are guaranteed a good time.
Way way back, many centuries ago. Not long after the bible began, Joseph is the well-known biblical story about a boy who could interpret dreams. Joseph is one of twelve children to Jacob, and was Jacob’s favourite son. After Jacob gives Joseph a multi-coloured coat, his brothers feel this is a step too far and decide to get and sell Joseph as a slave. Joseph ends up in Egypt and works hard from nothing to become the successful number two of the Pharaoh. This rags to riches story is about believing in yourself, love and forgiveness.
The story is told by a Narrator and that part is played by Alexandra Burke. I have seen Alexandra many times so I knew we would have phenomenal singing, but she delivered so much more than that. I really loved her sense of humour, her interaction with the children and how as the narrator she is in almost every scene. She plays Jacob, Potiphar’s wife and a jailor (and I loved her London accent in this role). Alexandra is exceptional in this role and the best narrator I have ever seen. I also love her sparkly trainers!
Joseph is played by Jac Yarrow who gives a wonderful performance. His kindness and warmth flows through the role and Jac holds the audience in the palm of his hands during Close Every Door which is so emotional. I loved the new style technicolor dreamcoat and how he swishes it about. Jac is a star and has a strong future in theatre – I would even say a techicolour future.
This fantastic production of Joseph is very different from those you may have seen before. Not only are the sets and lighting amazing, especially the jail in ‘close every door’ but the choreography and dancing is just out of this world. There is even a tap number. Yes, a tap number in Joseph. The Pharoah as Elvis is set in Vegas and even the statues join in. I did notice that the Pharoah song opened act two and those Cannan days was further along in the show. I don’t normally approve of moving songs around but in this example, it worked perfectly, and is actually a better flow. Pharoah’s song is a great opening number so well done to whomever decided this.
The children in the show are performing real characters in the show so several are playing the brothers. I have no problem with this (and these kids are very talented), and it makes sense if you had 12 sons that you would have some who were younger. However, I hated the kids wearing fake beards. Let’s see the kids faces and give them the credit they deserve. While we are on the subject of beards, I didn’t like Alexandra with a beard either. Jacob is one of the few roles I do feel would be better played by another actor so that Alexandra can concentrate on the narrator role – she had to keep removing her beard for the narrator role and then putting it back on for Jacob.
The real star of the show is the music. There are songs you will know such as Any Dream will do, Close Every door to me and Go Go Go Joseph, but I’m sure one of the reasons for the popularity of Joseph are the songs performed in different styles. One More Angel In Heaven is country, Those Canaan Days is a Parisian style and you even get a bit of can-can and of course I have mentioned Pharoah as Elvis. The finale of this production felt current and we were all on our feet singing and dancing along. This is a show that will stay in the audience’s memory long after the show has finished.
Wow, wow, wow Joseph you know what I say. Wow, wow, wow Joseph you took my breath away. Sh na na Joseph you’re doing fine, go and see Joseph; you’ll have a good time.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing Milton Keynes Theatre until 24 September 2022.