Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was one of my least favourite musicals until I saw the Bill Kenwright production featuring the magnificent Joe McElderry last year.
And as the show returns to the Palace this week there is no sign that those numerous performances have made the X-Factor winner jaded in any way.
McElderry’s performance is just as strong, delivered with the same energy that has made this version of the Lloyd-Webber and Rice classic such a winning formula.
McElderry is excellent as Joseph,showing why he won the X-Factor but also that musical theatre is his natural home. He is comfortable on stage delivering the comedy as well as the music.
But it isn’t all about Joe. A very strong cast throws everything at the audience with an energy and enthusiasm which is instantly infectious. Trina Hill is excellent as the narrator and Ben James-Ellis is a hoot as the Pharaoh.
The key to the show’s success is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. I love everything about this show. I love the pop-up sheep that sometimes don’t quite pop up; I love the cardboard camels; and I love the sudden breaks into the cowboy song, French accordion playing and Caribbean calypso for no good reason. At times it has a touch of the Monty Python about it.
From the opening number through memorable tunes such as One More Angel in Heaven, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do, the production gets the audience going and leaves everyone with smile on their face. It is the perfect antidote to the gloom dominating the news at the moment.
This vibrant and exciting retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours sings out to young and old alike with a score which is crammed wall to wall with hits.
If you’re enjoying life at the moment it will make your day better. If you’re having a rough time, it will raise your spirits.. Well worth a visit.
Runs till Saturday October 21.