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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 11th May 2016 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe

Review by Cameron Lowe

If I was to try to identify a show that first got me interested in musical theatre, it would be Joseph.  Growing up in the seventies, my generation was among the first to enjoy the experience, the fun, the outright joy of learning, loving and performing the school version of what has now become a worldwide favourite. I took my seat fully aware that I would set high standards for this production.


The first collaboration of the fantastically successful partnership of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the show was originally written for schools as a short teaching and performance piece.  Their second work was what made this duo household names, though, as Jesus Christ Superstar became an instant hit. Buoyed by this success, Webber and Rice revisited Joseph; extending the piece and staging for a ticket paying audience.  The result of this labour was, once again, a smash hit.


The story is well known … if you are unfamiliar with it, I’m sure that you can find a copy of the Book of Genesis nearby!


So what about this latest incarnation of the family favourite?  Is it hitting the high notes like an x-factor winner … or scraping the bottom of an empty grain barrel?


Let’s begin with our hero, Joseph, played by Joe McElderry.  X-factor winner, Joe, really impresses in this role.  Traditionally this is a headliner part – a none-too-demanding character for a soap star or a presenter to easily step into (putting bums on seats into the bargain).  Joe was certainly a popular choice with the Glasgow audience.  However, he totally excels here.  His energy levels were excellent and he presented easily the most impressive vocals of all of the Josephs I have seen over the years.


Joe was ably supported by Lucy Kay who delivered impressive vocals and tangible charisma as the Narrator.  Lucy was a graduate of Glasgow’s own Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  Further support came from a talented male cast playing Joseph’s 11 brothers and the various key characters as the story unfolds.  I did feel that (as uplifting as their songs and characters were) some of the male cast could have given an extra 5% of energy to their performances to add that ‘sparkle’ to an already good performance – particularly when out of the limelight.  The 3 female supporting cast members held nothing back, giving their all throughout.


Technically, the show was deceptively simple in presentation but anyone who has programmed lighting and sound cues in a theatre would be most impressed.  With these effects added, the show was a dazzling display! Sadly, I could only see the Musical Director playing live music in the pit and the lack of a live band detracted somewhat.


Joseph is a great family show.  A production of this caliber cannot fail to bring a whole series of smiles that will be sure to merge into a massive grin!  Don’t miss your chance to catch this enduring classic of musical theatre.


King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

10-14 May 2016

Tue at 7.30pm

Wed at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Thu at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Fri at 5pm and 8pm

Sat at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm

Tickets £17.90 to £46.40




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