Thursday, 11 September 2014
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
I first became interested in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back in 2007, when I was 15. Having decided they wanted to bring back this classic musical, (written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber), Bill Kenwright and Lloyd Webber himself were on the hunt for a brand new Joseph to front it. I watched the X factor-style show with avid interest and being the teenager I was, promptly fell in love with each of the handsome young contestants. Much to my disappointment though, I was unable to go and see either the winner in the West End or the runner up in the tour, so I have been waiting a long time to be able to finally see this musical.
Unfortunately though, there weren't any of the men who I'd fallen in love with, still donning the 'many coloured coat.' (Actually remarkably few of them are still in theatre at all which is a bit of a shame). But who we had instead was X Factor finalist and Welshie, Lloyd Daniels (he came 5th in Olly Murs and Joe McElderry's year). Despite it being his musical theatre debut, he played the role with a certain amount of flair and was definitely engaging in his performance. I feel that he was more comfortable in the catchier numbers rather than the quieter Close Every Door To Me where his tuning could have been improved. Saying that, I did find him really entertaining and his funny response to Potiphar's wife's advances had me giggling.
Eastenders star Matt Lapinskas, in the role of Pharaoh, was also in his first musical theatre role and he was enigmatic enough to pull off this over-the-top character well although I, at times, could not hear all of the words he was singing which was at a fairly crucial point in the story, meaning I was confused for the next part. Danielle Hope joined these TV stars and was truly fabulous in the role of Narrator. Her perfect vocals sounded effortless. It is a hard sing for this particular character as it carries the majority of the songs and she was rarely off stage, but she did not let it show. Her theatre training was obvious and she kept the cast ticking along nicely with humour and a natural ease that was a joy to watch.
The chemistry between the three leads was great. There was a nice touch at the beginning where, having introduced the story, the Narrator permitted Joseph to begin and he thanked her with a little nod of his head. It was additions like these that signalled the production to be of the highest calibre. These three, along with the rest of the talented supporting cast, brought you along for a glitzy and really entertaining ride. Some of the dance choreography seemed a little simplistic for the group who were clearly accomplished but it was still so fun to watch. And that is essentially what Joseph is - fun. The kids in the audience were loving it and I found that a smile didn't leave my face not only for the duration of the musical but for hours afterwards as well. If you need cheering up or simply to have a very distracting break from reality, this is the musical for you.