★★★ | Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat – National Tour
Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s well-loved family musical tells the biblical story of Joseph and his eleven brothers. Joseph is favoured by his father and is given a Technicolor coat, which causes his brothers to become so jealous of his favourable treatment that they take him into the desert to kill him. But seizing an unexpected opportunity to make some money, the brothers sell him into slavery instead and Joseph is taken to Egypt where his ability to interpret dreams is put to good use by the Pharaoh.
The two hour show is jam packed full of songs that you can’t help but know the words to, including “Any Dream Will Do”, “One More Angel In Heaven” and “Close Every Door”. Visually, the show was vibrant, colourful, full of an enthusiastic and energetic cast and some enjoyable choreography.
Jaymi Hensley (Union J, X-Factor) stars in his first major musical role and provides a mixed performance, sounding wonderful belting out the songs at some points in the show, but completely over-doing the forced and unnecessary vocal gymnastics and operatic trills at others.
Production wise, as expected, the costumes, set and a particularly effective lighting design were all awash with a variety of colours, and the whole thing came across as a fun and lively production which was professionally put together. Despite being first performed in the late sixties, the music still retains a fresh feel, with an eclectic mix of musical styles, from Country to Rock n Roll, and from Calypso to a parody of French Ballads.
Overall, Joseph is an evening of pleasant and undemanding entertainment which delivers on many levels, particularly in terms of production, but also in terms of nostalgia (most people of a certain age will remember doing this show as their school play). It’s great family entertainment and is ultimately enjoyable, if fairly cheesy, fun.
Joseph is currently at Sheffield Theatres until 9th November 2019 before continuing on its national tour