The dream goes on for Joseph

joseph

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Coventry Belgrade

*****

GOING to see Joseph is like seeing an old friend. I’ve seen it many times in many settings, but Bill Kenwright’s is amazing, full of razzamatazz and showbiziness and somehow it maintains an integral honesty – probably because of its stars.

Lloyd Daniels is making his debut in musical theatre as Joseph, a great Joseph and a warm presence, Matt Lapinskas (wasted in EastEnders) as Elvis/Pharoah is great to watch and can’t half sing! Amelia Lily does really well as the narrator, a hard part to sing because of its range and size, and is probably the best thing to come out of Middlesbrough since my dad and Captain Cook!

This is a supremely enjoyable and watchable production, and it’s good to see a family show where whole generations are in the audience and children from Stagecoach Coventry and Solihull who sat and sang on stage throughout made a homely touch that added immensely to the show. A real band in a real pit also does it for me.

If you cast your mind back to Sunday School, the story will come flooding back. Joseph is the second youngest of 12 brothers and favourite to dad Jacob (Henry Metcalf who also choreographs!). On top of the ignominy of Joseph’s bragging of his dreams of greatness, Jacob makes Joseph a colourful coat, the brothers are jealous of Joseph and sell him as a slave to the Egyptians, telling dad he’s been eaten by a goat.

There are bits I don’t remember from Sunday School.  For example, Joseph is bought by Potiphar and tempted beyond reason by his unfaithful wife; Joseph succumbs and is back in jail – until Pharoah, tormented by strange dreams sends for Joseph to explain them, which lands Joseph a job building up stocks for forthcoming famine.

I really enjoyed – and, oh boy, they milked it – those Canaan Days, with accordions, Eiffel Tower and striped jerseys, onions and bikes – delivered at a snail’s pace by the 11 brothers starving back in Canaan. They set off to Egypt little knowing they must ask their brother Joseph for food. You’ll remember the rest - happy reunions.

This is first-class entertainment, a great story well told. Well, well worth a look. To 25.4.15

Jane Howard

21-04-15 

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