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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Liverpool Empire
29th March – 3rd April

Author: Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Director & Producer: Bill Kenwright
Cast Includes: Keith Jack, Jennifer Potts, Henry Metcalfe and Adam Jarrell.

Running time: 2hours 5minutes

This story of a boy who was different to his brothers, who had dreams above his station, who believed that the world was limitless and that he could achieve anything, takes a dark twist when the family who should protect him turn on him instead. It is a tale of loss, inner strength and faith in destiny that is as relevant and important today as when it was first written and therefore also appeals to all ages.

 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat promotional poster

 

This production of the family favorite, despite a slow start, doesn’t disappoint. With a strong cast led by Keith Jack as Joseph, who despite his boyish looks has great stage presence, that keeps the audience enthralled and a powerful voice that conjures up really empathy for the down and out Joseph. Perhaps Jennifer Potts as the Narrator faces the biggest challenge, singing through out almost the entire 165 minute performance. She takes on this challenge and meets it head on with a strong performance that doesn’t falter. The brothers provide a solid base for Keith Jacks and the other performers with their energetic dance routines and very entertaining songs. Yet they are also convincingly in their sibling jealousy which leads them to their wicked deed. It is the Pharaoh however played by Adam Jarrell who undoubtedly brings glitz and glamour to the proceedings as the King of rock and roll and lightens the mood and re-energize the story after Joseph’s luck has truly run out.

My criticism would be that during the Pharaoh’s dream song many of the words are lost or muffled, seemingly due to the sheer number of voices and instruments. This is a real pity as the Pharaoh’s dream is key to the story. The impressive sets however make up for this fault. They are large, colorful, exciting and dramatic and will transport any child’s imagination back to ancient Egypt where the story is unfolding in front of us.

It seems apt then that a large part of this story is told by children who make up the Chorus providing vocals for almost all of the songs and actually leading one themselves. The children are part of Performers Theatre School and add a wonderful innocence and vitality to the whole show. The extra long encore however does seem un necessary and doesn’t quite finish the show with the finesse it deserves.

This production is good, wholesome family fun for people of all ages, so whether this story is an old favorite or new tale you can’t help but sing along with the catchy songs and brilliant music.  

 

Click here to view details and book for the Liverpool Empire Theatre
www.liverpoolempire.org.uk


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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