The Hawth, Crawley | Until 8th February and then continues on a Nationwide Tour.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is approaching it’s 50th birthday – can you believe that? For the most part yes, it seems to have been doing the circuit forever. As I was watching it for the gazillionth time at the Hawth on Tuesday I marvelled at it’s everlasting appeal.
What is it about Joseph that makes it so popular and adored by young and old? It is cheesy, the sets wobble and it certainly doesn’t have the perzazz some other touring shows have. But it is fun and undoubtedly delivers unrivalled entertainment to audiences again and again. Each tour (and there has been a few) is tweaked a little , slightly different set, costumes or dances. But the familiarity of Joseph is warming, and never gets old.
‘It’s all there in Chapter 39 of Genesis’ – it’s the story Joseph, he is the son of Jacob and one of 12 brothers. Because Joseph is a tad annoying, his brothers sell him as a slave and he ends up in Egypt. He goes into service, gets himself into a spot of bother with the boss’ wife and ends up in prison. Once released he blags his way to becoming top dog and becomes best buddy with an Elvis styled Pharaoh and ultimately comes out on top! ….and oh! he also gets to wear a wicked multicoloured coat!
Yep bit weird.
The first show of song writing duo Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be performed, Joseph was groundbreaking, it is completely family friendly, very witty and colourful. The tunes are catchy and whether you know them word for word or you are enjoying them for the first time, I guarantee you’ll be going home humming at least one.
Since 2007 a new ballad has been added ‘King of my Heart’ which is sung by the Elvis style Pharoah, I am still not convinced about its value, it does nothing except pad-out this otherwise very short production.
During this tour X-Factor winner Joe McElderry takes the title role of the hapless dreamer who makes good and he is a popular choice, the audience is brimming when his appreciative fans. McElderry does justice to the role and his ‘boy next door’ look makes him very palatable, he sounds good and in particular his rendition of ‘Close Every Door’ was very well received. Lucy Kay another Simon Cowell Discovery (this time BGT) is more used to Classical Music than Musical Theatre but she hits all the right notes as ‘The Narrator’ but she does need to relax into the role and have a little fun with it.
The supporting cast including all of Joseph’s family member keep the fast pace of the show moving and the special Joseph choir, made up from local children were suitably professional.
So yes, it was my gazillionth time, Joseph does have it’s flaws but who cares? Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat is one of the best feel good shows around and everyone should Go Go Go Go and catch it at the Hawth before Saturday.
Reviewer : Sammi O’Neill
Photo Credit : Mark Yeoman
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the Hawth until Saturday but please note Joe McElderry will not be appearing at the Saturday performances.