Amazing! Intoxicating! And totally bonkers!
The Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice smash hit musical has been touring the UK for a while now, but it still maintains the joie de vivre that has audiences coming back again and again.
This was evident last night via the hum of several ladies behind me singing along to every word. EVERY WORD. It is clearly a much-loved production and this one didn’t disappoint.
I must admit I was predisposed to love it, having ‘starred’ in a minor role of Joseph in my primary school production. Those lyrics never leave you; I could have sung along with EVERY WORD. But I digress.
Much like Les Miserables, the story is told through continual rousing musical song and dance numbers, only without all that misery. I remember the songs as being jolly, but what joy can be conjured up on a primary school piano is one hundred-fold with a live orchestra and set of professional showmen and women.
The story is narrated in song by Trina Hill, who is in possession of a truly remarkable voice - I’m still humming Go, Go, Go Joseph and in my head I sound just like her...
The role of Joseph is taken by Jaymi Hensley – a member of X Factor-formed band Union J. Jaymi gave us a cheeky, loveable Joseph. His delivery of Close Every Door had me mesmerised, and his singing in the final Any Dream Will Do number was spectacular.
The supporting cast – all those brothers! – were hilarious, delivering cowboy-style laments to poor, poor Joseph (after they’d sold him), and for some reason known only the show’s creators, a Parisian inspired look-back at Those Canaan Days when the famine came. They are a hotchpotch bunch, some better dancers than others, but it all fitted the haphazard, slightly crazy feel of the production. That’s not to say it’s sloppy, far from it, this show is a well-oiled machine that knows exactly how to push the audience’s happy buttons.
A shout out to the children’s choir who spent the entire show sat so still it was hard to believe they were children at all. Their wonderful singing gave the show added wow and brought a tear to my eye more than once. Must be those primary school memories...