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joseph review bradford alhambra 2017 Joe McElderry in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Review – April 2017

Bradford Alhambra

by Daniel Roach

Go, go, go Joseph! X-Factor star Joe McElderry arrives at Bradford Alhambra in a truly revitalised version of Rice and Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

As the curtain rises to a mega-mix of all the show’s classic songs from the band, the atmosphere in the theatre is electric. ‘Joseph’ is the archetypal family show and is loved by all generations. Children in the crowd are singing at the top of their voices, eagerly waiting for the show to start.

joseph review bradford alhambra 2017 Joe McElderry and Lucy Kay in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatThe story centres around Jacob and his 12 sons, of which Joseph is his favourite. Joseph is sold as a slave by his brothers. Narration by Lucy Kay plays a key part, and she fits the role perfectly with a warm inviting tone to her voice. She weaves in and out of the story seamlessly.

I’ve seen the show many times, but McElderry delivers the best performance of ‘Close Every Door’ I have personally ever heard. His control and delivery is completely faultless and I have never seen a standing ovation to a performance mid-show before – but he deserves it. It’s clear to see why he was such a live success on The X-Factor and his transition to the stage is welcomed by all.

Joseph: “Costumes are a feast of rich, vibrant colours”

The show’s many comical moments have the audience in stitches, in particularly the blow-up sheep that have a habit of falling over. Not intentional, but it has kids pointing and laughing.

joseph review bradford a;hambra theatre Joe McElderry in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatIt’s not all highlights though. The Pharaoh’s (Ben James-Ellis) Elvis-style solo performance starts off entertaining, but it lasts way too long – it’s a corny, throwaway joke that doesn’t deserve the time and attention it gets.

But the staging and lighting are stunning. The costumes are a feast of rich, vibrant colours. The sound seems to amplify around the theatre. And, most importantly, the big performances – ‘Any Dream Will Do’, ‘Benjamin Calypso’ and the big Joseph mega-mix finale bounce off every wall and really create huge excitement in the audience. At times, it is like a pop concert.

This is a genuine family, feel-good show and for pure entertainment value, the most enjoyable ‘Joseph’ I have seen to date.

Images: Mark Yeoman

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