When I heard that the new UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was headed to my old home town of Southend on Sea, I decided to take a trip to the beach and check it out.
Joseph, the youngest of eleven sons is his fathers favourite. He gives him a coat of many colours to wear which annoys his brothers and they rip it off of him in a plot to kill him. Luckily for Joseph, the brothers decide to sell him to a group of Ishmaelites that are passing through the area. The tables eventually turn and Joseph becomes the ruler of Egypt. His brothers come to him to beg for food and fail to recognise their brother. Will Joseph take pity on his brothers or leave them for dead like they did with him?
Danielle Hope is incredible as the Narrator. At just 22 years old, hers is a name I am sure we will be seeing in shows for many years to come. Having already played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium and Eponine in Les Miserables, Joseph is a new challenge for her, in which she surpasses all expectations and this is another great addition to her amazing CV.
When I found out a finalist from the 2009 series of X Factor was playing the role of Joseph, I rolled my eyes and expected very little. By the end of the first act, Lloyd Daniels had proved me wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by his acting ability as well as managing to sing theatrical songs and not sound like a pop star. Of course seeing him in a loin cloth had nothing to do with my enjoyment!
Former Eastenders star Matt Lapinskas blended into the background a little as the Pharaoh. He tried hard with his Elvis impersonations and got the crowd going but never seemed to develop in his character or performance. The ensemble worked well together with Richard J Hunt and Jamie Jukes as the stand out performers.
It is amazing how many of the songs you recognise in Joseph. Everyone knows Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door but there are so many more memorable classics like Go Go Go Joseph, Jacob and Sons and Benjamin Calypso. If you don’t know these songs yet they are sure to stick in your head forever after you do hear them!
The production quality isn’t as high as it could be but to be honest it doesn’t seem to matter. Once you get past the cheesy blow up sheep and Elvis impersonations, you are left with a good fun show. The great thing about Joseph is the joy it brings to the faces of adults and children alike. At the end of the show, everyone was on their feet dancing and singing and the smiles on some of the children were incredible. This really was a reminder of how theatre can allow you to escape the troubles of every day life and drift into a world of magical possibility for a couple of hours. That is the beauty of theatre.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on tour around the UK and Ireland. For dates and venues visit www.josephthemusical.com