21-25 February 2017
Reviewed by Helen Wyatt
Last night we were lucky enough to be able to go and see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Princess Theatre in Torquay. We were intrigued to see it as the lead cast member, playing Joseph himself, was none other than Joe McElderry, 2009’s X-Factor winner! I hadn’t watched the show in some years, so couldn’t remember any of the songs before it started apart from “Any Dream Will Do” however once it got started I realised I knew pretty much all of them, so it really brought back memories of seeing it in my childhood.
This musical, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a big production and very much worth seeing. Lloyd Webber’s multi-styled, brightly coloured musical masterpiece is lovingly and carefully recreated by the cast at Princess Theatre Torquay, with everyone putting in 110% effort.
Alongside Joe McElderry as Joseph, you have the narrator played by Lucy Kay; whilst “narrator” is her official title her singing voice is off the charts and steals the show at points. Joe McElderry gave a stunning performance as Joseph and the show is worth going to see for him alone. His voice, which I remembered as good from X-Factor, was rich and soaring, and greater than I could have anticipated. I was particularly taken with his solo performance in “Close Every Door”, which is the scene where Joseph has been locked in prison. Joe gave an emotional, heart-wrenching performance which was wonderful to watch.
You’ll also find the cast of 11 brothers rather fantastic; an eclectic crew to look at, they all brought something different and amazing to the show, each with their own unique and brilliant qualities. Their voices worked together beautifully in harmony, and where they had the chance to sing a solo they each gave an excellent performance.
Henry Metcalfe, as the dad and Pontiphar (who jails Joseph), brings a measured but mesmerising performance, and is a pleasure to watch.
Ben James-Ellis, playing Pharaoh, needs a special mention; he really brought the spirit of Elvis to the show, in his white flared jumpsuit and Elvis style hair, but with added Egyptian touches such as winged eyeliner! His voice was powerful and melodic, closely imitating that of The King.
Throughout the show the cast were accompanied by the children’s choir from local Stagecoach schools; despite having to sit still on stairs for most of the performance, they were exceptionally good and gave an excellent performance.
The set is fun and something spectacular to watch – look out for the blow-up sheep and the talking camel! The show is bright and colourful as you would expect, and this cast do not disappoint. The reveal of the Technicolour Dreamcoat in the finale is nicely choreographed and you are up and clapping along at the end!
As ever, Princess Theatre Torquay staff were welcoming and friendly; we ordered food beforehand in their café “Breezes”, using the pre-show menu which has a reasonable amount of choice. The food came very quickly, which was a pleasant surprise as previously we have had to wait some time for food, and it was very tasty. The only downsides to the theatre are narrow seating, which seems to cause the audience a bit of a problem getting in and out at times, and the price of concessions which is high anywhere you go but it seems a shame that the theatre cannot supply less expensive items.
The theatre does not have dedicated parking but there is plenty of on-street and other types around. Even on show nights you will find somewhere to park relatively close to the theatre but I would recommend arriving early if you don’t want to have to walk too far.
This show was an absolute pleasure to watch, and kept us clapping alo ng to the end. Beautiful melodies and harmonies of Lloyd Webber are brought to life by the cast, and the comedic timing is perfect. I had forgotten that the show is funny as well a musical! Do go and see this show as you won’t regret it.
Tickets cost from £20.90 to £42.40 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at the Princess Theatre in Torquay until 25 February 2017. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3023.
Princess Theatre, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5EZ | 0844 871 3023