Touring – reviewed at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a staple and rite of passage for many musical theatre fans so when a production is mounted there’s always a ready and willing audience to view it. Thankfully for current audiences, the Palladium production which is currently touring the country is absolutely top notch and a dream night out.
Laurence Connor’s version of Joseph is a reinvigorated, large scale, glitzy production that feels like it’s been plucked straight from the West End and dropped into Woking. The excellent sets by Morgan Large look luxurious but there’s also a lovely element of simplicity which is reminiscent of the hugely popular film version. The entire set design is sleek and perfectly embodies the joy and energy which this show provides.
If you’re looking for a killer cast, you need to look no further than Joseph. Every single cast member fires on all cylinders and the power and joy which pours out from the stage is just a treat to experience. In the lead role Jac Yarrow is star quality embodied. His ‘Close Every Door To Me’ is absolutely excellent and he brings a lovely cheeky quality which draws you to Joseph and makes you root for him even more.
Yarrow is joined by Linzi Hateley who is wonderfully witty as The Narrator as well as Bobby Windebank who gives a brilliant portrayal of the Elvis-esque Pharaoh. Mention must also go to Matt Gibson as Rueben and Will Hawsworth as Simeon, both of whom are real standouts vocally in their solo moments. The child performers are a joy to watch as they take on various roles and exude happiness.
This is also a choreography heavy production which further elevates it. There are tap numbers alongside a string of high intensity ensemble moments. Joann M. Hunter has done an outstanding job of providing an array of styles and making every number engaging.
For a show which could easily become pantomimic, there is a real level of intensity which upgrades it and makes it a two hour treat that you’d have to be a scrooge not to enjoy. The outstanding band led by the joyous musical director John Rigby, alongside the super strong ensemble and superbly adapted show, mean and you can’t help but leave the theatre smiling from ear to ear.
photo credit: Tritram Kenton