REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Sheffield's Lyceum

By David Parker | 06/11/2019

REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Sheffield's Lyceum
Andrew Geater as the Pharoah

FIVE decades on from its first showing, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues to dazzle audiences with its catchy songs, imaginative dance routines and hilarious visual gags.

The Biblical tale with some modern twists is at The Lyceum, Sheffield, until Saturday (9), and is as fresh now as it was when it first shown in the late 1960s.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber hit is a humourous take on the “coat of many colours” tale of Joseph, from the Book of Genesis, and follows the titular character as he is sold to slavery by his 11 brothers who have become envious of their father’s favourite son.

Jaymi Hensley, a Zac Efron lookalike who is one third of the boyband Union J, takes on the lead role of Joseph rather comfortably, and his ease and enthusiasm for the part shines through especially when he sings the song which has become almost more famous than the show itself, Any Dream Will Do.

Alexandra Doar, making her professional debut, takes on the role of the narrator, and is just as impressive when she’s singing as she is when she’s explaining what’s going on.

James Head is Jacob, the head of the family, who seems to age every time he enters the stage, unlike his sons who stay the same age despite the fact at least 14 years passes by (maybe this is a deliberate joke, which would be in-keeping with the humour of the production).

Head also takes on the role of Potiphar, the rich Egyptian slave-owner who buys Joseph from his brothers, and he seems capable of showing more expression with his eyes than most performers can do with their entire faces, as he scowls with contempt at all those who surround him.

Most scenes in the show are a clever parody of a musical style from thousands of years ahead of when the show is set, including French ballads in Those Canaan Days, western music in One More Angel in Heaven and 1920s Charleston in Potiphar.

Andrew Geater shines in act two as the Pharoah, depicted here in the guise of Elvis as he parodies rock 'n' roll while singing Song of the King.

All of the brothers impress, even those with smaller roles — as do the three handmaidens, and it is a shame that they have few opportunities to show their talents during a production which is dominated by male roles.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on at the Lyceum until Saturday and will be visiting the Doncaster Dome from December 18 to January 4.