REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sunderland Empire, Until June 4
Andrew Lloyd Webber's famous masterpiece opened at the Sunderland Empire last night to fantastic acclaim.
Starring the region’s very own Joe McElderry in the leading role the show was met with phenomenal support from a delighted audience.
It wasn’t just because the former X-factor winner is a South Shields lad that had the crowds on their feet – no he was truly brilliant, more than worthy of the devotion.
I’ve been lucky enough to have seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat several times and each one has been different.
Joe had his own take on the role giving a cheeky chappy feel to his performance, funny and loveable. There’s something of the adorable puppy-like quality about the entertainer, which is probably why his fan base spans the generations.
This may be why I was taken by surprise at his amazing rendition of Close Every Door – it was absolutely breath-taking and had the audience on their feet in appreciation, something I’ve never seen before.
But, the show is not just one person – everyone puts in an absolutely amazing performance, not least Lucy Kay, who was stunning as the narrator.
Also a huge hit with the audience was Emilianos Stamatakis, making his British debut as Pharaoh.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tells the story of Joseph, the favourite of Jacob’s 12 sons. His father is so devoted to him he has a multi-coloured coat made just for the boy to wear.
His brothers decide to get rid of the object of their father’s affections and sell him as a slave.
But, Joseph’s gift of being able to interpret dreams leads him to become Pharoah’s right hand man and the brother’s come begging at his door.
The actors who portray the brothers give wonderful performances and each brings the individual characters of the men to life, which gives them a lot more depth than I have seen in previous productions.
Praise also needs to go the whole team, music, costumes, scenery and lighting were all brought together to pull off a spectacular evening at the theatre.
A singing camel, inflatable sheep and woollen dolls all feature in this funny, fast-paced, fantastic show.
And, a word of warning, don’t try and hurry out at the end, wait until the final curtain falls to experience every minute of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Running until Saturday, June 4, at the Sunderland Empire, it is not one to be missed.