Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Director: Bill Kenwright
Reviewer: Taylor Simmons
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s earliest works, is still a family favourite – and one which continues to pack house. Bill Kenwright’s latest incarnation is vibrant, colourful and full of youthful fun – which is echoed throughout in its casting.
Joseph, played by X-Factor’s Lloyd Daniels, is appealing to young and old alike. His warm Welsh accent endears him to the audience and his vocals are strong and full of expression; his rendition of Close Every Door is arguably one of the best renditions of the song. As his debut in musical theatre, Daniels establishes himself firmly in the genre suggesting that this won’t be the last we’ll see of him in the theatre.
Danielle Hope, Winner of BBC’s Over The Rainbow, is a delightful Narrator. Her strong acting skills, clear diction, pure tone and use of facial expression demonstrate her talent for telling a story, though at times she feels perhaps too young for the rôle. Despite this, she excels in the rôle and at times we see glimpses of ‘Maria Friedman quality’ in her performance.
In the absence of Matt Lapinskas, Perry O’Dea took on the rôle of Pharaoh. Vocally, he created the right inflections for this “Elvis” sound-alike and his voice strong and secure. He does, however, lack the charisma that enables him to command the stage in the way the character should.
The eleven brothers and 3 handmaidens are all energetic and well-cast. The choreography from Henry Metcalfe particularly showcases their talents as an ensemble, fluidly moving between storytelling and dance with sharp energy and expression. The children’s choir, provided by Performers Theatre School, were strong and well-rehearsed – competently supporting the cast.
It is a shame though to see so few musicians in the orchestra pit – much of the production relied on keyboards, kit, guitar and click-track – theatre is increasingly more expensive and difficult to sustain, this seems to be an ever increasing trend which is a crying shame.
If you want an evening of fun, laughs and vibrant energy that is fit for all the family then go, go, go down to the Liverpool Empire to see this production.
Runs until Saturday 18th October | Photo: Darren Bell