REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Theatre Royal, Brighton

It's always intrigued me, ever since as a starry-eyed schoolgirl and mad Neighbours fan I saw footage of Jason Donovan wearing the infamous technicolor coat on the West End stage in the early 1990s.
Joseph at the Theatre Royal BrightonJoseph at the Theatre Royal Brighton
Joseph at the Theatre Royal Brighton

For whatever reason, for the last 25 years I have failed to see the UK’s longest-running and hugely popular musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

But all that changed last night, when, excitedly, I finally took my seat at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, for the launch of its week-long run.

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The current tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice hit stars the X-Factor’s Joe McElderry, who won the reality TV show aged just 18 while being mentored by Cheryl Cole in 2009.

Despite it being his first major theatrical role, he’s a natural on stage. The X-Factor predominantly seeks out pop singers and Joe had several pop hits, but it was as though he was born to be on the stage.

There was no trace of his Geordie accent, and every word of every song was enunciated with precision.

Joe stars as Joseph in a retelling of the biblical story about him and his 11 brothers, and the many-coloured coat he is given by his father, Jacob, for being the favourite son.

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Narrator Lucy Kay, a runner-up in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent showcased a flawless voice as the Narrator.

While making his UK debut, Greek Emilianos Stamatakis was outstanding as Pharaoh and Judah.

With well-known songs peppering the show from start to finish - including Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do, the audience didn’t lose focus for a second.

And when there were opportunities to sing or clap along, they certainly took them.

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Any show that literally has my mum dancing in the aisles for the end-of-show megamix gets a thumbs-up from me.

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