Touring – reviewed at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
The origins of this show comes from the Bible. However, let’s not lose sight that it was Andrew Lloyd Webber (Music) and Tim Rice’s (Lyrics) first really successful collaboration. The concept came from the basis that it was to be performed in a school. Now I’ve seen many versions of Joseph, most recently at the West End’s Adelphi and the London Palladium, both extremely lavish affairs, extravaganzas with special effects and so on.
This production feels like it’s a show returning to its roots, a simplified version with no real trickery, lavishness or big overwhelming live orchestra, more traditional and it’s endearing as a result. Joe McElderry takes the title role in this sweet version and with an undeniably strong singing voice and charisma he makes a great Joseph. Playing The Narrator is Lucy Kay. Kay obviously relishes the power line’s in the show and is a strong narrator.
The ensemble give an energetic and fun performances. Going back to my original comment about it being stripped back, I do have to make reference to the inflatable sheep. Who did make the audience laugh but not necessarily for the right reasons. They didn’t always inflate or deflate on cue but hey it added to the fun. The choir positioned as usual lining the sides of the stage on staircases, were full of beans and their delight at being there was apparent. The mega mix at the end had everyone on their feet, clapping along which was testament to the enjoyment of the production and its cast.
This is the last stop on the tour so not much of an opportunity to see, but if you are in or around Southampton until 9th then do take a visit to The Mayflower. It’s a fun and pleasant way to spend a couple of hours especially if you have children. All in all it’s great wholesome family fun!
Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Mayflower Southampton until 9th
★★★”great wholesome family fun”