Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sunderland Empire and touring
You know the audience are wanting to enjoy themselves at this show, as the majority already know the words and music off by heart, as it is unlikely that many people have not either played in a school version of this show or watched friends and family perform in it!
Of course, the musical is virtually as well known as the story itself. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's first version of the show was a 15 minute school production; afterwards it was extended until it has become the hit musical we all know today.
The musical tells the story of Joseph, who is sold as a slave by his jealous brothers. While his father (Jacob) believes he is dead, his favourite son is actually reading dreams and soon becomes Pharaoh's right hand man. When the brothers are so hungry they have to ask for food they fail to realise it is Joseph they are asking and he takes the opportunity to plant his favourite golden cup on Benjamin. When the brothers protest Benjamin's innocence, Joseph reveals his true identity and is reunited with his father.
For two hours we clap along and listen to those songs we know so well, including Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door.
In this tour we have Jonathan Parkin playing Joseph and it is hard to imagine that this is his professional theatre debut as he makes the role his own and stops the show with his powerful version of Close Every Door. By the audience reaction at the curtain call it was very clear everyone recognised they had witnessed a star in the making.
This production, produced and directed by Bill Kenwright, delivers pure family entertainment and, judging by the reaction of the audience, will continue to do so for a long time yet.
This review first appeared in the Northern Footlights website, of which John Dixon is webmaster and editor
Reviewer: John Dixon