Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
**** 4 Stars
“Any Dream will do!”
2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and its legacy is confirmed with a brand new imagining of the show coming in the London Palladium this summer.
Meanwhile Bill Kenwright’s Touring production returns once more to Edinburgh with a worthy take on the show. Based on the “coat of many colours” story of Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. The shunning of Joseph that see’s him banished to Egypt where only his power to interpret the dreams of the rich powerful saves and allows him to prosper so much so redemption comes when he meets his family once more. It’s more or a less a full sung through piece that puts love and truth and the heart of the story.
The joy of this current production is in the performances, especially the gorgeous Jaymi Hensley (yes he of Union J and X Factor fame) who makes his debut in the lead role of Joseph. Boy can the boy deliver, punchy acting, huge honey warm vocals and boyish charm ensures he gets the audience from the off. The same is also true of Trina Hill as Narrator, its joy to hear the score sung the way it was intended to be for once. Her vocals reverberate around the massive playhouse auditorium. Elsewhere in the cast Henry Metcalfe (who also choreographs) delivers well as Jacob and Potiphar bringing a sense of maturity and wisdom to the roles. Also in the role of the youngest brother “Benjamin” Alex Hetherington brings a cheeky chappie charm to the role that see’s the character shine every time he appears on stage.
Whilst the performance’s are uniformly excellent including the children’s choir drawn from schools in Edinburgh its the production elements that let it down. The set and props looked tired to the point that inflatable sheep no longer inflate properly and cast members have to give them a hand. Sean Cavanagh’s design owes much to the 1991 Palladium revival but its that 28 year passage of time that makes it feel just that little bit out dated and in need of refreshing. A start has been made though, with Gary Lloyd adding new additional Choreography and the talented cast deliver that in style. The whole thing is wrapped up Nick Richings on the money lighting design and Dan Samson’s sound design.
Joseph has endured for half a century because of the love of the story and the music and lyrics that defy age and spans the generations. This production is worth seeing for the stellar cast however lets hope that the tour takes a leaf from the upcoming palladium production and breathes life back into the sets.
As the curtain falls your gonna be on your feet singing along as the song says when it comes to Joseph, any dream really will do.
Bill Kenwright Presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Edinburgh Playhouse runs until Saturday 24th March for tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/joseph-and-the-amazing-technicolor-dreamcoat/edinburgh-playhouse/ UK tour Continues.