Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium | Theater criticism
July 30, 2021
Some musicals never get old. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice is just as spectacular as it was in the 70s – perhaps thanks to his varied musical style, which is as broadly inspired by genres as possible, Rock’n’Roll in Charleston – and Elvis style of the 1920s. There’s something for everyone here, and every melody is catchy and deafening. In addition, there is a fantastic production by Laurence Connor and an outstanding cast who turn it into a bombastic performance of a musical that has absolutely lost none of its charm.
As soon as the curtain opens and the audience is introduced to the narrator (Alexandra Burke), it is clear that this show is something else. It tells the biblical story of the daydreamer Joseph (Jac Yarrow), who is sold into slavery by his brothers as their father’s darling. By providence, he ends up advising the camp pharaoh (Jason Donovan), eventually forgiving his brothers for their crimes and providing them with food during a terrible famine.
The cast is just amazing. A charming and impressively astute Joseph, Yarrow shows exactly why he received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for the role in 2020 (quite an achievement considering he just graduated in 2019). Donovan as Pharaoh is equally entertaining, with an adorable Elvis impression made even funnier by being flanked by two guitar-playing statues of Egyptian gods. A cast of talented kids adds another boost of charm and spirit to the show, but it’s Burke as the narrator who lights the stage: she’s constantly present and always delivers in a spirit that clearly proves she’s up for the role.
The production itself is just as delightful. Morgan Large’s stage and costume design is immaculate, offering a perfect and amazingly detailed range of features as the storyline requires, well aided by Ben Cracknell’s lighting which is sharp and demonstrates some clever finesse. This resurrection of Joseph is just awesome. From the cast to the staging to the musical itself, everything is as refreshing as a cold drink after a hot day in the office. A well-deserved recommendation for the whole family – and a toast to a great show.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat can be seen at the London Palladium from July 12th to September 5th, 2021. For more information or to book, visit the theater’s website here.
Check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the show here: