20 February 2019 (released)
21 February 2019
A standing ovation finale was a fitting tribute to the first night of Bill Kenwright’s brilliant new production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” at Theatre Royal, Windsor.
The buzzing theatre was packed on this half term evening with an audience of all ages excited to see the show. A stirring instrumental medley of its familiar song intros had us clapping along from the very beginning. As the Egyptian patterned curtain rose, we were treated to a beautiful stage set with a pyramid of steps leading up to a starry night sky. A simple dramatic backdrop doubled as seating for the child chorus and the perfect showcase to draw our view centre stage, making the characters the focal point.
The narrator, Trina Hill, rings out crystal clear vocals as she introduces us to Jacob and his sons. Henry Metcalfe and Gary Lloyd’s energetic fresh choreography has the brothers dancing joyously before our eyes. The family bonds and tensions are displayed with humour, energy and fun. This makes the clever combination of minute details in this show seem effortless. It’s a credit to Nick Richings’ lighting design when the audience laugh as the stage is plunged a shade of green to match the brothers’ jealous faces.
I wasn’t familiar with Union J’s Jaymi Hensley before he appeared on the stage as Joseph. The whoops and yells that he drew from other members of the audience were soon rewarded as he burst into vibrant song. By the time Joseph reaches his lowest point in the tale, Jaymi’s powerfully emotional rendition of ‘Close every door’ will send chills down your spine.
Act Two begins with a sweet voiced medley of songs from the childrens choir, recapping the action so far. The dramatic pace continues as we’re taken from the prison to the palace where Andrew Geater’s Pharaoh delights us with his deep voiced Elvis impersonation and that hip sway.
One of the most entertaining aspects of this musical is how the song range has such a global span. It’s the perfect excuse for a dazzling array of singing, dancing and costume styles as we travel from the country blues twang of ‘One more angel in heaven’ through to the bright beat of the ‘Benjamin Calypso’. This production even manages to sneak a highly amusing French flavour into one of the numbers.
Don’t miss this fabulous production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved musical. It’s such a heart pumping pleasure from beginning to end.