Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the press night of ‘Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at the Birmingham Hippodrome starring Union J’s own Jaymi Hensley. I took the fabulous lover of all things biblical, Grandma Sara, along for the ride.
Growing up, I was taken to see so many renditions of this musical by my Grandma I could have probably recited it word for word backwards and performed a one-woman rendition of the whole thing playing The Narrator, Joseph, Jacob, Pharorah and all 11 brothers simultaneously. This was my first time viewing since Keith Jack donning the coat back in 2010. Almost a decade later, I was back with a vengeance.
‘Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ with music & lyrics by Andrew Lloyd-Webber & Tim Rice is the longest touring show in history based on the story of dreamer, Joseph (Jaymi Hensley), the favourite of Jacob’s twelve sons. Jacob’s favouritism causes much animosity amongst Joseph’s brothers and when it reaches boiling point, his brothers fake Joseph’s death after selling him as a slave to Egypt. Despite encountering much hardship, Joseph’s unwavering determination enables him to come out on top and reunite with his father.
‘Joseph’ is a fast paced, colourful and fun show guaranteed to get you bopping in your seat with Pharoah’s Elvis-esque rendition of ‘Song of the King’, the Parisian inspired ‘Canaan Days’ and the vibrant ‘Benjamin Calypso’. It is a fabulous retelling of an ancient story that appeals to all ages.
Jaymi Hensley dons the technicolor dreamcoat, following the footsteps of Jason Donovan and Philip Schofield, in his first ever major musical role but has the skill of a seasoned West End star. His brilliant vocals were enough to earn such high praise from my Grandma as “Oh, he has a lovely voice” following his emotional version of ‘Close Every Door’. His acting ability and comedic timing was particularly impressive.
Trina Hill as The Narrator perfectly guided audiences through the show with her ridiculous vocal range and engaging story-telling ability.
Pharoah (Andrew Geater) was a hit with the crowd as he performed as The King onstage. The clarity of the lyrics were lost in translation a little bit so in a show where the story is entirely told through song, I was glad that there were approximately 65784 encores so that I could follow the plot.
The Eleven Brothers (including Andrew Geater who doubles up as Asha) were bolshy and fun, providing constant comic relief through their vibrant numbers and energetic choreography.
‘Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is a fabulous show for all the family that truly stands the test of time. The show’s finale consisted of a high-energy Joseph megamix performance of the entire soundtrack that had all the audience up and clapping along. Nine years on, and several Josephs later – this production did not disappoint a now 23-year old Izzy and certainly not Sara.
There is just one day to go and tickets are still available for the following times on Saturday 13th July:
Tel: 0844 338 5000