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Review- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat : super family friendly

By Paul Kiely

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Lyrics by Tim Rice

Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber

Directed by Laurence Connor

Tim Lawson in association with Michael Harrison presents in arrangement with The Really Useful Group Limited

Capitol Theatre

13 Campbell Street, Haymarket

Season: 16 February 2023 onwards. Bookings:

Duration: 100 minutes plus 20-minute interval

Very few stage productions can boast superlatives like ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (‘Joseph’) now on at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. For all-round family entertainment, ‘Joseph’ dishes it out in spades!

From start to finish, this production is magnificent in its music, colourful in its presentation, engaging in its staging and outstanding in its efficaciousness.

First presented by Andrew-Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in 1968, ‘Joseph’ loosely follows the biblical tale of Jacob’s eleventh son Joseph. You can fact check the Book of Genesis if you wish, but the gist of the story is that Jacob favoured Joseph above his other children by presenting him with a very fine coat. This, coupled with his dreams of greatness, alienates his siblings. They conspire to sell Joseph into slavery, whereby he ultimately earns the ear of Pharaoh and the powers and privileges that go with it. The rest, as we say, is history.

Lloyd-Webber and Rice demonstrate in this early work that they are masterful storytellers. ‘Joseph’ is all-musical, no dialogue, so attention is easily maintained through characterisation, narration and catchy pop-style compositions.

The production is super family friendly despite some dark themes permeating the plot. Issues regarding slavery, cruelty, envy and deception get a good airing. But they are counterbalanced by ambition, freedom, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. All told in a light-hearted fashion that any child aged seven to seventy could understand.

Of course, the music of Lloyd-Webber is memorable and endearing. Several styles are used to engage a modern audience. There is mellow, country-western, rock n roll, calypso and swing amongst others. The band had a full complement of instruments and sounds. In fact, I’m sure I heard a fiddle at one stage.

The entire cast were mesmerising, including the numerous boys and girls who won the hearts of the spectators.

With an impressive vocal range on show, Paulini dazzles as the Narrator. Her energy binds the story, cast and audience together so well.

Euan Fistrovic Doidge is a name to remember. He gave everything he had as Joseph. His amazing technicolor coat was only equalled by his beaming smile.

Playing Pharaoh is Trevor Ashley. His Vegas-style numbers performed under a neon ‘Welcome to fantastic Egypt’ sign were bewitching.

With no less than nineteen songs, all perfectly choreographed, Tim Rice’s lyrics are honoured in this superb production in Sydney. For those wanting to be moved by the landmark ballads of ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘Close Every Door’, you will not be disappointed. Other notable renditions are ‘Jacob and Sons,’ ‘Stone the Crows’ and ‘Benjamin Calypso’.

And what about the other star of the show, the ‘Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’? Well, it’s everything you’d expect, and more! Vibrant, brilliant, vivid and striking are words that come to mind. But to be fair, all costumes, staging, lighting and sound were perfectly in tune. There is lots of gold, animated camels and statues of Egyptian gods playing guitars as well!

‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is a very welcome stage event in Sydney. Post-Covid, it is just the feel-good, pick-me-up remedy we have all been waiting for. And when the finale ‘Joseph Megamix’ arrives, you will be on your feet in admiration.


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