Reviewed by Louise Edwards
Last night there was definitely a feeling that panto had come early to Sheffield as West End sensation hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, celebrating its 50th anniversary continues its UK tour in the city. This show goes way beyond pantomime of course and director, Bill Kenwright’s team of creatives with choreographers Henry Metcalfe and Gary Lloyd, designer Sean Cavanagh and lighting designer Nick Richards produce a glitzy, star-spangled show where you are guaranteed to be on your feet dancing by the end.
The show opens with a backdrop of Egyptian hieroglyphics and an instrumental medley of the famous songs in the musical, led by musical director, Mike Steel, gets everyone in the mood for what is to come! With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber you know you are in for a treat.
Alexandra Doar plays the narrator, in her professional debut, with enthusiasm and amazing singing. She introduces the story and of course, Joseph, played by Union J’s Jaymi Hensley. His voice is strong and confident, and he plays the part brilliantly.
Joseph is the second youngest of Jacob’s (played by James Head) 12 sons and his absolute favourite (as of his three wives he liked Joseph’s mother the best!). This doesn’t go down well with the other brothers of course and his combined with Joseph’s dream telling and analysis, encourages the brothers to turn against him and plan his demise! Rather than kill him they sell him as a slave but tell Jacob that he was slain fighting with a goat that would otherwise have killed them all.
As Joseph finds himself slung into jail after being seduced by his master, Potiphar’s wife, his dream analysis skills come to good use as he prophesies the fate of his fellow prisoners, a butler to the Pharoah and a baker. Meanwhile, the Pharoah himself, played by Andrew Geator, is being kept awake with dreams of his own and he enlists Joseph to analyse them. Joseph forecasts a time of plenty followed by a period of famine which now Egypt can plan for much to the delight of the Elvis inspired Pharoah. When the brothers are all reunited in the end we see that blood really is thicker than the water and the forgiving Joseph makes his peace.
As well as the main characters on stage are also the Joseph choir, from Stagecoach Sheffield who put in a brilliant performance as backing vocals and in their own song at the beginning of the 2nd half.
The show is almost entirely sung throughout, and the family-friendly story, familiar themes and catchy music is a hit with all ages. There are a variety of musical styles used throughout the show – from French ballads, Elvis inspired rock and roll, 1920’s Charleston and 1971’s disco and the costumes are out of this world with some super quick changes to keep you on your feet!
Although the show does at time feel a little dated and the women characters are very much accessories (as it would have been in Ancient Egypt) this is a fantastic feel-good musical for all ages, and you are guaranteed a night of fun and laughs.
Tickets cost from £15 (booking fees may apply).
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield from 5-9 November 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call the box office on 0114 249 6000.
Lyceum Theatre, Norfolk St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1DA | 0114 249 6000