First performed in 1968, the classic retelling of 'the coat of many colours' story is back doing the rounds before settling back on the West End for a limited run this summer. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is such an iconic piece of acting, and one in which I think perfectly captures the essence of theatre- one you simply can't avoid. Being such a familiar piece of artistry for many, I feel so lucky to be part of a new generation that has now been able to see the production upon its revival and UK tour. The narrative follows Joseph, the favourite of Jacob's eleven sons, and his journey regarding his brothers becoming jealous of his status. They subsequently sell him off as a slave, sending him away to life his life in foreign lands. Narrating the whole ordeal is Trina Hill, who took on the vocally demanding role with full force. Belting out those notes powerfully yet beautifully, I don't think it'd be possible to find a more perfect person for the job. Connecting the audience to the story, her warm and joyous personality complete the show, along with her vast range and amazing voice control.
Jaymi Hensley, previously known for being part of boy band Union J, performs as Joseph, and makes it impossible to tell that it's his first major theatrical role. It's clear to see that he's very capable of taking the stage by storm, and I'm intrigued to see which parts he'll go on to play next. Adding to the symbolic collection of previous Josephs, Jaymi triumphs in the role, bringing his own personality and traits to the mix. His voice is ideal for the job capturing the essence of the songs in the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice collaboration, illustrating the narrative fantastically.
Of course, almost every show requires equally skilled ensemble and subordinate characters to piece together each performance. Henry Metcalfe plays Jacob with emotion and longing for his favourite son to return to him, seeming vulnerable, despite remaining surrounded by his other sons. The Elvis-esque Pharaoh is taken on by Andrew Geater, providing excellent vocals with the essential comedic touch for the Presley wannabe. With regards to the eleven brothers, some seemed more enthused than others, though it was a two show day... they may have just been reserving their energy for the evening? Or maybe they were just having a bad day. On the whole, it didn't spoil the show at all and they certainly played their vital parts in the musical, despite the fact that some elements of the choreography could have been slicker and more polished: possibly something that'll be ironed out over the duration of the tour. A key feature of this hugely popular show is the choir, comprised of schoolchildren, local to the venue for the tour dates. Because they swap out for every location, I'm not really able to pass a sweeping judgement for every performance, but our lot seemed great.
For a small, local theatre, the use of props and the stage design is rather impressive. Though we didn't get the full treatment with the technicolour dreamcoat during the finale, the scene changes are pretty good at transporting us into that Genesis story. The use of inflatable sheep provoked a few giggles with their appearance too!
With the megamix to conclude, the show provides such a fun and energetic feel to it, as it seems to have always done. I feel so lucky to have been able to see such a symbolic show that has created so many memories for people throughout its years, and I think you should join this list too if you can.