Last night was one of those nights at the theatre where you come home singing with a smile on your face. I’ve been to Bristol Hippodrome see one of my favourite musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and it was everything it should be. We had cute kids, an Elvis-impersonating Pharoah, lots of dancing, silly outfits and a great big singalong at the end. It’s not life-changing, insight-providing, thought-provoking theatre: this is simple uncomplicated fun theatre to make you happy.
I have to admit I’ve never watched the X Factor and I’m only vaguely aware of who Joe McElderry is, but I was impressed with him as Joseph tonight. Like a lot of celebrity leads in shows he’s not an all-rounder and doesn’t dance like the professional music theatre types. It doesn’t matter though because he sings really well, he’s got great cheeky-chappy charm, and he gives the impression of someone who’s having the time of his life up on stage. In fact the whole cast seems to enjoy what they’re doing, which is just what’s needed for a show like this.
I loved Lucy Kay’s performance as the narrator too. I adored all of it to tell the truth, from the cheesy Western ‘One More Angel in Heaven’ to the French ‘Those Canaan Days’ and the sauciness of Potiphar’s wife. I liked the costumes and the dancing and the daft one-liners. I liked the children’s choir and the set and the atmosphere. My companion was most taken with the inflatable sheep, but I think pregnancy hormones might be making her a little peculiar.
I don’t really know what else to say about this to be honest. If you’re a Joseph fan, you’ll love this. If you’re not, but you like a bit of feelgood cheery theatre, you’ll probably still love this. For me, it’s definitely one of my favourites of the year so far, and if I got offered tickets to go and see it again tomorrow I’d jump at the chance. Instead I’m just going to put the CD on in the car again and sing along loudly on the way to work.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat plays at Bristol Hippodrome until 6th May
Image by Mark Yeoman, with thanks