Keira Dulake (@keiradulake20) writing on behalf of the Musical Theatre Appreciation Society.
Confession comes first in this blog; you may need to sit down first… I’m a student at Drama School and until Wednesday just gone I’d never seen Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Many of my generation always talk about it being one of the first musicals they’d ever seen and have fond memories of it from childhood. I’m 18 now so this probably doesn’t count as childhood any more, but being a child at heart I loved it!
This touring production is featuring X-Factors Joe McElderry as Joseph and Britain’s Got Talents Lucy Kay as the Narrator. The performance I saw was the 3rd one of the tour at G Live in Guildford, and Joseph was played by the understudy (of whom I don’t know the name for as I didn’t pick up a programme or catch his name and it’s nowhere to be found online!). However if you go to see this show and the understudy is on, rest assured that he is fabulous! Having not seen McElderry I couldn’t compare, but I loved his performance and he really did the show justice. He was bursting with the energy and lifted the spirits of the audience. His performance was infectious and just made you want to get up and dance! (Don’t worry, dancing was encouraged during the bows!). As for Lucy Kay as the narrator, what lungs she has! Personally talent shows are something I tend to watch often so I hadn’t heard of her before, but trust me when I say we will be hearing of her again! She has an incredible voice and is definitely one to watch out for!
The rest of the cast were made up of the 11 brothers who gave an all singing-all dancing performance to accompany the two leads. The choir was made up out of children who feature on the stage throughout the show. Considering the age of some of these children was very young, they did a fabulous job keeping up professionalism despite being able to be seen throughout the whole performance, not to mention their great harmonies!
When I got tickets to this show there was one thing I was sure I’d like and that was the COLOURS! I can see why this show would be very attractive to a younger audience. For any of you who, like myself until recently have never seen this show, it’s a biblical story told through song and dance about Joseph, one son of Jacob who has 11 brothers. (SPOILER ALERT in the next sentence!). The brothers then sell Joseph to an Egyptian slave trader, a tad sinister but we will swiftly move along, the story follows Josephs life until his eventual reunion with his brothers and Father and learns to forgive. It’s very clearly got a moral to the story and that makes it suitable and easy for children to understand. The colours in this particular production of Joseph are, and I’m going to say it, pretty groovy. I feel like the Lighting Design concept for this was pretty much to use all of the colours possible. And it works. It uses some really bold and vibrant colour choices, along with moving lights that flash in time to the music keep the show really fun and engaging. While we’re still on the topic of colours, Joseph’s Technicolour Dreamcoat is pretty impressive in this version of the show. I won’t give anymore spoilers but I’ll just say he does have a fair few costume changes towards the end of Act 2!
The best word to describe the music in this show is probably random, but the songs do fit the scenes. There is a mix of western, country and calypso influences in some songs, even an Elvis impression in one scene, whilst keeping the typical musical theatre aspects in others. I challenge anyone who sees this to not mouth along the words, because I guarantee even if you’re a first timer like myself, you will have heard some of these songs. ‘Any dream will do…’ oh.. just me? Okay..
The tour has only just begun its run and is travelling up and down the country. If you’ve got children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or you just enjoy a light hearted family friendly musical that makes you want to get up and dance and sing along, I’d fully recommend this!
Find out where Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat is coming to near you at https://www.londontheatre1.com/tickets/joseph-and-the-amazing-technicolor-dreamcoat/.
Have you seen Joseph on tour? What did you think? Let us know in the comments and on @MTAS_official & @keiradulake20