Joe McElderry stars as Joseph in the latest UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s classic musical.
As a child, chances are that your first experience of a Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be either performing or watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which is why it has remained so popular over the years.
For this latest UK tour, Joe McElderry puts on the famous technicolor dreamcoat in Bill Kenwright’s family friendly and entertaining production. Everything about this show is colourful and bright – from the fantastic use of lighting during ‘Joseph’s Coat’, which livens up proceedings all the way through to the enthusiasm of all of the cast.
But it has to be said that the production is also rather limited in terms of staging, with Sean Cavanagh’s set taking up a lot of space, meaning that Henry Metcalfe’s choreography is rather constrained despite it being energetic and fun.
However, there are some fantastic performances to be enjoyed in a production that has lots of energy and pace. Joe McElderry as Joseph has plenty of charm and stage presence – particularly during his heartfelt and poignant performance of ‘Close Every Door’. His enthusiasm and joy really bursts through in every scene.
Meanwhile, there is also a stunning performance from Trina Hill as the narrator – who injects lots of personality and warmth to her role as well as hitting the high notes with ease that wows the audience.
The on stage presence of the choir is lovely, providing lovely harmonies to songs such as ‘Any Dream will Do’ and ‘Poor Poor Joseph’ for instance, despite the occasional moment in which the music slightly overpowers their vocals. But there are also strong harmonies present from all of the cast – really showcased during ‘Those Canaan Days’.
Some characters are perhaps less well formed but this in a sense hardly matters in a show which is pure fun to watch – including many injections of comedy that keep the audience of all ages amused. It is entertaining from beginning to end.
Some moments do feel slightly over the top and in danger of becoming pantomime like – such as the scene in which Joseph is dragged to Egypt – every movement seems just lacking in believability as well as props that just distract from the professionalism of the show as a whole (the blow up sheep, the camels for example).
Overall, it is great family entertainment and is filled with energy and laughter that makes it a joy to watch.