City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Edinburgh Playhouse Nov '12, Review


By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 14 November 2012

4
Joseph shows off his coat of many colours
Show Details
Company: 
Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with the Really Useful Group
Production: 
Bill Kenwright (Director), Henry Metcalfe (Choreography), David Steadman (Production Musical Director)
Performers: 
Keith Jack (Joseph), Lauren Ingram (Narrator), Luke Jasztal (Pharoah)
Running time: 
135mins

Jack’s not the lad anymore! Dalkeith’s Keith Jack is very much a star at ease with himself in the title role of "Joseph", surrounded by a fairly inexperienced cast. He wears the Dreamcoat with distinction.

Arguably, he is the strongest vocalist to give these well-known numbers ‘laldy’ and while the audience were eager to turn this into a sing along they failed to second guess the pace that Keith Jack delivered "Any dream will do".

As most people will know this started out as a very short show (20 mins) for pupil’s of St Paul’s Junior School before various enhancements turned it into a full-scale musical for the Edinburgh Festival forty years ago.

I say full-scale, but this still remains a relatively short show stretched out by a long overture, reprises culminating in a crowd-pleasing Megamix.

It is based on the biblical story of Jacob and his twelve sons, and the jealousy surrounding the favourite, Joseph who has a talent as an interpreter of dreams. This annoyingly includes forecasting that his brothers would bow to him sometime in the future and they sell him into slavery and tell their father he has died a hero.

Captive in Egypt, Joseph’s ability to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams changes his fortunes as the story unfolds. The show tells that story in a mode not dissimilar to the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy with one scene hillbilly, one in Las Vegas with the King and Jacob in Paris complete with Eiffel Tower.

All in all, the show requires you to suspend reality and just enjoy the music delivered with touches of comedy, energetic dancing and a colourful set. The young chorus drawn from Edinburgh Schools earns full marks in their supporting role.

Back in 2007, Jack played the narrator in a touring production and to a certain extent it’s the better role and Lauren Ingram fills it well on this occasion as she moved around effortlessly singing the show with a very pleasing voice.

The highlight for me was Keith Jack singing to his father when reunited. The lyrics were delivered with great feeling and musicality.

Any criticism would be the attempts to give the King full reverberation which did not work and Luke Jasztal‘s voice was better without.

The show was well received with the audience giving the performers a standing ovation on opening night in what is more or less Keith Jack’s home city.

Runs to Saturday 17th November

Times

Tue-Thu 7.30pm

Fri/Sat 5pm & 8pm

Wed/Thu matinees 2.30pm