Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has returned to the London Palladium, following a hit season in the Summer of 2019.
Told entirely through song with the help of the Narrator, the show follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph and his eleven brothers. After being sold into slavery by the brothers, he ingratiates himself with Egyptian noble Potiphar, but ends up in jail after refusing the advances of Potiphar’s wife.
While imprisoned, Joseph discovers his ability to interpret dreams, and he soon finds himself in front of the mighty but troubled showman, the Pharaoh. As Joseph strives to resolve Egypt’s famine, he becomes Pharaoh’s right-hand man and eventually reunites with his family.
Alexandra Burke takes on the role of the Narrator in this production (with Linzi Hateley at certain performances). She has an undeniably strong pop voice and really got into some of the more complex choreography routines, surprising me with how good she was. At times it felt the part was being overacted (which isn’t always a bad thing in a show like this) and at times her performance felt disconnected from the other cast. However, by the end of the show she had won me over.
Jac Yarrow returns to the role of Joseph and is just as brilliant as before. Jason Donovan doesn’t appear until act two, playing the small part of Pharaoh. It is a nice tip of the hat to have him in the production (as he played the lead role back in 1991) but the song he has to sing doesn’t really suit his voice too well. He makes his way through it to the best of his ability and camps up the performance to the delight of the middle-aged women in the audience.
Stealing the show though is the child playing Potiphar (I can’t find a cast list of the children). This child is living their best life on stage and is overflowing with energy and talent. In fact, it is the children that really make this show what it is – a delight to experience no matter how old you are.
Reviewed by West End Wilma