Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Bridlington Spa
There is a generation of people who were introduced to this as an album at Secondary School music lessons – where it broke up the boredom of listening to classical music and bleating out a tune on the recorder.
I know because I was one of them – and I was not enamoured with a biblical story which was drier than desert sand. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice shows have never ‘rocked my world’. So, this is me, 40-odd years on changing my opinion.
This live production was colourful dance-in-the-aisles, clap-along, sing-along fantastic.
A quick plot resume – sibling rivalry leads 11 Israeli brothers, sons of Jacob, to sell the 12th and favourite son into slavery and he is taken to Egypt. Joseph, though, has a talent for reading dreams and this impresses the pharoah so much he makes him his right-hand man. Circumstances then force the brothers to go to Egypt and beg Joseph for help.
But the show is about the music so cleverly woven round the story. There is a style for everyone – calypso, rock ‘n’ roll, swing, blues and rock ballads – together they make for a score that really swings and then rocks.
The tunes – Close Every Door, Jacob and Sons, Those Canaan Days, One More Angel in Heaven, Go, Go Joseph and Any Dream Will Do – just keep coming and they are full of wit and insight, too.
The cast is outstanding. X Factor finalist Amelia Lily plays the Narrator in what is her musical theatre debut and to use the talent show vernacular ‘she nails it’. Lloyd Daniels was ill so understudy Matt Brinkler played Joseph – wow, the boy can sing and he has the leading man looks, too.
Former EastEnder Matt Lapinskas plays Pharaoh – as Elvis the King and he rules the second half. Youngsters from Scarborough-based Stagecoach provided the children’s choir who were on stage for the entire show – and did not put a note wrong. They were charm and tunefulness personified.
The show is from the Bill Kenwright stable so the production values are faultless – the band is live, the sets and lighting perfect.
In fact, there is not a weak link in an exuberant, young, talented cast, who sang and danced for more than two hours. Their joy was infectious – and just when you thought they were done they asked the audience if they wanted more – silly question, of course we did.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has stood the test of time – it rocks today as much as it ever did (even as a teenager I didn’t think so)– and the standing ovation it received on opening night was testament to that.
It runs at Bridlington Spa until Saturday March 21. Times: Thursday March 19 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Friday March 20 at 5pm and 8pm. Saturday March 21 at 2pm and 8pm
Review: Sue Wilkinson