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Joseph Technicolour Dream Coat 2014

A great way to warm up for the festive funtime

Joseph Darlington Hippodrome Theatre4Everyone

Back once again like a renegade master, this timeless classic has been revamped for the modern age, a High Def version if you like and, as one would expect from a show which centres on such a range of colours, it really benefits from the use of 'new age' technology and choreography.

The story of the Lloyd Webber /Rice musical collaboration is probably as well known as the biblical story of Joseph; for many it is their first foray into musical theatre either as a child on a school trip or playing a part in a school production. As such, as you settle into your seat and the first few bars of the opening overture build, there is a comforting warmth of knowing contentment, but with this comes the danger that familiarity breeds contempt. Well, fear not, for this production is as fresh and dazzling as a first year show trying to get an extension.

The casting of Danielle Hope as the narrator is inspired; Danielle takes centre stage regardless of where she stands, has all eyes on her without demanding any attention and has the perfect voice to tell the story. This is one of the hardest roles to perform in musical theatre, it needs verbal gymnastics linked to an impeccable memory to keep track of all the brothers and colours, there needs to be sympathy, empathy, passion and no small amount of humour, it all has to be kept within the frame of being a storyteller and Danielle manages it with aplomb. Many years ago I watched my first production of Joseph, the narrator, Karen, was brilliant and ever since none have been able to compare - you never forget your first - but Danielle is certainly a candidate to take that crown.


Lloyd Daniels as Joseph has all the innocence and naivety needed for the early part of the show (thought just quite how innocent he can remain playing with Potiphar's wife each night remains to be seen) - whilst later he manages to morph into Pharaoh's aide with all the pomp and importance. Having one of the most iconic songs ever performed in musical theatre, Any Dream Will Do, Lloyd clearly enjoys the responsibility and revels in his multicolour frockery.


Joseph Darlington Hippodrome Theatre4Everyone

The rest of the supporting cast have boundless energy, which is just as well as Henry Metcalfe has the choreography turned up to 11. Flappers, cowgirls, vamps, Frenchmen and of course, camels, all test the repertoire and all are fabulously performed with no shortage of humour. The lighting design is particularly worthy of mention, never have the colours been so pure, so vibrant and clear - it really is like watching in High Definition.


So, for lifelong fans and new additions to the Joseph family, get your tickets, warm up your camel and head on down to the Civic, but be prepared not to leave early, the cast clearly love what they do and respond to the audience demands for encores; with standing ovations guaranteed at every performance you're going to get at least 3 or 4 additional numbers at the end.

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