The one with a lot of Stereotypes in?
It’s the musical that shamelessly promotes bad rhymes such as “His astounding clothing took the biscuit, Quite the smoothest person in the district” and stereotypically has a bash at Americans, French, Egyptians as well as the English, but nineteen whole years since I sat as a child waiting for Aled Jones to leap on stage in a loin cloth, I was back awaiting for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
This time it was not Aled Jones, nor Philip Schofield, Lee Mead or even Jason Donovan who was to wear the coat that annoyed 11 brothers but the talents of Keith Jack, the runner up of the BBC’s Any Dream will do programme. The flyer billed as “Finally Keith Jack gets to wear the coat” and an announcement at the beginning of the show informs us that Keith Jack is performing tonight… it all seemed as if they had to big up his “celebrity status” in case you had forgotten the boy who used to work in a supermarket pushing trollies but found fame before the Lord himself… and a couple of million tv viewers.
Nineteen years on from making my theatre trip debut, it is really quite amazing how this show sticks with you, alarming I knew the show almost word perfectly and I also found that many others of the audience did too. I think it is safe to say that this show is the perfect introduction to musical theatre for any child and young family. The scenes move at a great pace, and there is many opportunities for the cast to demonstrate several characters on route to Egypt and back.
Jack plays the roll of Joseph well although I felt the audience didn’t fully engage with him. He sang through the score safely and with diction that was a little too “perfect” for a predominantly pop arrangement, the classical tone and clipped phrasing made the show stealers such as “Close every door” seem to rehearsed. With that in mind, the whole show feels a bit well-rehearsed and at times felt as though it was going through the motions, which despite a recent cast change is inevitable when the show must have been performed at least a million times.
Arguably as well as being a beginners platform for Musical Theatre watching, it is also a great opportunity for new graduates, the eleven brothers mainly been made up of recent graduates of the last academic year, who show a great deal of enthusiasm.
For a night of easy listening and gentle entertainment Joseph is perfect, if you don’t have the time for it though, I can suggest arriving just fifteen minutes before the end where you can see the whole show played out again in a “megamix” which allows the show to expand to just under a two hour playing time.
Joseph and his amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues its National Tour.