The Civic welcomed a talented South African cast performing one of the most renowned musicals of all time this week. The completely sung-through Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is a shining star in the Lloyd Webber-Rice collaboration and with a biblical storyline and universal appeal it has delighted audiences for over 40 years.
This production of a classic musical staple sees a fair few representations of current trends scattered not-so-subtly throughout; from jean shorts and muscle tees to Donald Trump. This did make me question if the updates may have gone a bit overboard for a purest fan like myself? Unlike the lonely token rap verse in the update to Webber’s Cats, Joseph features contemporary twists in almost every scene. However, this does update it for a new audience and overall the show is extremely praiseworthy with a feel good factor turned up to 11, upbeat choreography and of course a fabulous array of light, colour and belting musical classics.
The performances of the international cast, Led by Earl Gregory as Joseph and Nadine as the quintessential narrator, are fantastic and thrive on every note. Gregory shines brightest in his solo enactment of Close Every Door where he gets the opportunity to showcase his incredible vocal range and stage presence, helped along by clever lighting with a colossal Egyptian statuesque shadow cast in his wake. Joseph’s eleven brothers also bring their huge talents to the stage; while each brother alone is quite brilliant the combined sound of all eleven tonal ranges bring together a magical rainbow of harmony to delight the audience’s ears. The stage lighting is top of the pyramid with dazzling effects and of course a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. As expected of shows playing at The Civic, the stage and set look phenomenal and complement this wonderful cast who pump every ounce of energy onto the stage.
You’ll find the enchanting musical numbers of your childhood memories make Joseph a nostalgic experience for those who are revisiting it, and the colourful extravaganza of dance, song and energy will whisk a new generation into the bosom of the Dreamcoat.
Reviewed by Lindsey Catherine.