What can be said about Joseph that has not been said already? It is a tuneful and cheerful story about Joseph and his coat of many colours, from slavery to power, and it’s been more than fifty years since Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) wrote it. It is such a popular musical that every performance can easily become a sing-a-long: everyone seems to know the songs – which range from pop, calypso, disco and country - and nobody seems afraid of singing them along: for many people this show is a trip down memory lane.
The 1991 production was also at the London Palladium and resulted in an 18-month run and a best-selling soundtrack album. In that production, Jason Donovan starred as Joseph, while in this one he is the Pharaoh (with an unclear diction and a not-so-strong voice), joined by Sheridan Smith as the Narrator.
This new version is entertaining as ever, it promises a lot of family fun and delivers a clever reinterpretation of the classic story. It is a good production with a dynamic set design and colourful costumes by Morgan Large and great use of lights, designed by Ben Cracknell.
Sheridan Smith is present on stage for the whole show, playing way too many characters, with the tendency to over-act, emphasising accents and facial expressions which seem out of context. The children are amazing and very much involved in the show; I am not just sure if it was necessary for them to play adult roles.
Who really makes the difference in this production, and steals the show, is Jac Yarrow. He is the perfect Joseph and his performance is flawless: he has a perfect voice, great stage presence, and a shining charisma. His rendition of Close every door is outstanding. It is clear that a star is born, today. We will hear from him a lot.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a light – but expensive- family entertainment show with a pantomime atmosphere, perfect for the children and for everyone who wants to hear the famous songs with a modern twist.
It runs until 7 September
Photo: Tristram Kenton
For tickets click here