Incredibly, Bill Kenwright has been touring productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat for 36 consecutive years. Yet watching his latest version of the hit musical at the Floral Pavilion it’s actually not that hard to see why. The show has a strong storyline (loosely based on the biblical tale of Joseph and his coat of many colours), an entertaining mix of characters and – surely the real key to its remarkable longevity – a succession of unforgettable songs.
It helps that the cast of this latest Joseph perform with tremendous verve and enthusiasm, as if presenting Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s venerable chestnut for the very first time. The title role is taken by Joe McElderry, an X Factor winner in 2009 who – as his later triumph in ITV’s Pop Star to Opera Star proved – has a seriously good set of pipes: his rendition of Close Every Door was rapturously received by the New Brighton audience.
Also excellent was Lucy Kay as the narrator (another television discovery – she was a runner up in Britain’s Got Talent) and Emilianos Stamatakis, whose Elvis-like Pharoah was a hoot. The youngsters in the chorus were a delight as well.
Adding to the fun were some energetic choreography, clever use of lighting and a set that imaginatively evokes the show’s Egyptian setting. But it’s those songs that hit the spot every time, from Any Dream Will Do to the gospel fervor of Go, Go, Go Joseph and the rock’n’rolling Song Of The King.
If you’ve seen Joseph before, this production still has much to offer that’s fresh and original. And if you haven’t – though you must know some of the songs, surely? – you’ll see what all the fuss is about. This is a show that looks good for another forty years.
***** Breathes dynamic new life into a true classic
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat continues at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton until Saturday 28 May 2016. For more information, click HERE.