I have not seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat since I was very young so I was flattered to be asked to see it at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on its opening night last night. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, you know that you are not going to be disappointed and I certainly wasn't.
Based on the story the 'coat of many colours' from the Book of Genesis, the musical tells the story of Joseph, the favourite son of his father. Jacob gives his son a multi-coloured coat to show him just how much he loves him.
His eleven brothers are jealous that he receives all the attention from their father and they sell him to be a slave, butcher a goat and spread the blood over the material to make their father think that Joseph is dead.
Joseph works hard and becomes trusted by his superior, the Egyptian millionaire Potiphar, until he finds him with his wife, who tries to manipulate him into having an affair with her. Despite Joseph's protests- for he does no believe in free love- the rich man sends him to chains once more.
Joseph begins to have visions from God and is able to tell people their fortune. He tells the Pharaoh, who's dreams are impossible to interpret, that there will be 7 good summers and 7 bad ones so the pharaoh tells him to keep some of the food from the good years to get them through the bad and makes him his number 2.
When his vision comes true his ill prepared brothers come begging for food and then he is able to reveal his true identity to them and be reunited with their father once again.
With very little spoken dialogue, the musical relies heavily on the addictive songs that carry the audience through the story seamlessly to its finale.
The props, costumes and lighting were all in-keeping with the title of the show- with bursts of colour about the stage; it was a visual delight- like a sweet shop in motion!
Unfortunately Matt Lapinskas was ill, so the Pharaoh was played by Perry O'Dea instead and he did sterling performance as the Pharaoh/ Elvis.
The play is ideal for children as it tells Joseph's dark tale in a humorous and light-hearted manner, with censored references to the more difficult times in Joseph's life. It is educational but also fun at the same time so its certainly a family friendly production.
Lloyd Daniels, the X Factor Finalist from 2009, has really found his niche in theatre- fitting into the role with ease and his solo 'Close Every Door' was simply haunting.
Danielle Hope was in the role as the Narrator- a part which is just as important as that of Joseph as she walks you gently through his backstory giving it greater meaning.
The most famous song from the show 'Any Dream Will Do' was performed twice, as the actors gave the audience another dose during the standing ovation too. And as you can see from the picture below- it was a stunning end to the show.
Overall, I am thrilled that I got the chance to watch this again. Although it is a religious story, it has universal appeal and brings to life the original tale with flair and excitement.
Tagged in Liverpool Empire Theatre