Thursday, 21 August 2014

REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, ”Joseph" is perhaps one of the world's best known musicals having been staged by a multitude of professional companies as well as by thousands of schools and amateur drama groups throughout the world.  This particular production is the latest Joseph tour to make its way around the United Kingdom and Ireland bringing with it several recognisable faces. 
The show features quite a basic set and at times it felt a little like watching a pantomime. With inflatable sheep, a wooden camel head and a pull along goat on wheels it did sometimes feel quite amateurish. The costumes were a little underwhelming and, though I’m not sure why, the white sports shoes stood out the entire time and didn’t seem to fit with the costumes of the brothers. 
The lighting provided the show with lots of colour throughout and was definitely one of the best technical aspects of the show. 
The show opened with a long overture and while it was skilfully played by the talented musicians it did feel slightly too long. Similarly the shows ending seemed to unnecessarily drag on, with bows and encores going on for a full ten minutes. The ending felt a bit like it was bulked out in order to tip the show over a two hour running time and I would have preferred it ran under two hours rather than being dragged out.

Danielle Hope, who made her professional debut in The Wizard of Oz after winning the coveted role of Dorothy in the BBC's hit talent show Over the Rainbow, gives a delightful performance as the Narrator. A role which shows off both her acting abilities and vocal range. 
X-factor finalist Lloyd Daniels ,who placed fifth in the 2009 series, makes his professional musical theatre debut in the title role. With a strong vocal performance, particularly during ‘Close Every Door’. He quickly has the audience rooting for him. His performance was not flawless with the over annunciation of the letter “t” and “s” being one issue that particularly stood out but overall he came across very well on stage, particularly when you take into account that this is his first time starring in a musical.  
Also in the show is Matt Lapinskas who is most well known for playing Anthony Moon is Eastenders and for finishing second in the penultimate series of Dancing on Ice. Lapinskas plays the role of the pharaoh with just the right amount of cheesiness and adds an extra dash of fun to the show. 
The ensemble are very strong and form the backbone of the show, pulling all the pieces of the story together and they do so with energy and buckets of charisma. One stand out performer for me was Henry Metcalfe, during the reunion scene Metcalfe gave a heart wrenchingly beautiful performance. For several moments he doesn’t say a word and he doesn’t need to. The emotion on his face tells more than any amount of words could. In that moment of silence Metcalfe simultaneously broke my heart. His performance throughout the show was strong but this scene was a beautiful piece of acting and blew me away.
Overall this is a fun, energetic and family friendly show with a talented cast of both seasoned professionals and up and coming actors. I will admit I went into this show with quite low expectations but I will also admit I did quite enjoy it. Joseph is an ideal show for introducing children to the world of musicals I would particularly recommend it for families.

Review by Maggie O'Dwyer
Rating: ★★★
Cast includes: Lloyd Daniels, Danielle HopeMatt LapinskasHenry MetcalfeBenjamin PomeroyAndrew BateupRichard J HuntShaun McCourtPerry O'Dea Brother, Michael WardMarcus AytonJamine JukesBenjamin BeecheyCraig GoldingCamilla RowlandRebekah Lowings Handmaiden, Danielle Acors, & Craig Creelman. 

Photo credit: Darren Bell
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