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Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
WAIT long enough and any dream may come true – it did for Keith Jack as he finally stars in this year’s touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He’s grown into the role: when he came second in TV’s Any Dream Will Do contest to find a Joseph for the West End back in 2007, he was considered too young and slight. This week at the Wycombe Swan he is showing an amazing voice and a good presence as the cocky teenager who annoys his 11 brothers, but through trials matures into a statesman.
While Joseph is the longsuffering and ultimately triumphant hero, the dastardly brothers get many of the best song and dance routines. They are brilliant in this show: energetic, funny, and revelling in the different singing styles from French crooning to Caribbean calypso to rock’n’roll (and yes, Adam Jarrell as the Elvis-style Pharaoh is great fun).
Narrator Jennifer Potts sing her demanding role to perfection, while the choir of local children from the Jackie Palmer Stage School and Agency are simply superb.
The set and especially the lighting are exceptional. Just when a song or a scene might tend to drag on a bit, clever lighting highlights a sphinx or dog-gods’ heads or palm trees to change the image and ensure there’s always something magical to watch as well as hear.
An enthusiastic audience on opening night loved the chance to join in at the end, when the cast returned to the stage and repeated all the favourite songs.
So here we are again back in Canaan and ancient Egypt. What is it about Joseph the musical that simply won’t go away? The Swan puts it on almost every year and it still sells well. I bet many go each time, while there’s always a new generation of youngsters to discover its nifty jingles and explosion of colour and creativity. You haven’t seen it? Oh but you must.
It’s a brilliantly enjoyable night out, whatever your age.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues at The Wycombe Swan until Saturday October 1. On Wednesday and Thursday shows are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, on Friday 5pm and 8pm and on Saturday 2pm, 5pm and 8pm. Tickets range from £15 to £27. Call 01494512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.