I never thought for one second that I would be a lover of live musical theatre, but having a 7 year old daughter changes that perspective. The pure magic and joy she gets out of going into the City at night with me to watch singing and dancing on the stage of the magnificent Civic is a priceless moment that makes me Dad of the year while keeping her relatively quiet for 2 hours.
It’s a win win.
So here we are off to Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and I’m trying to explain the basic plot of the story but get bogged down when I’m describing how Joseph gets sold into slavery to the Egyptians. This immediately prompts questions by my daughter as to why the Egyptians thought slavery was a legitimate and ethical use of labour alongside questions of why didn’t anyone tell John Campbell because he would have put a stop to that.
I explain John Campbell wasn’t alive at this stage.
The look of disbelief from her tells me that there is no time in her mind that didn’t include John Campbell.
I’m trying another entry point by explaining that I used to listen to Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat on something called a tape recorder. She immediately quizzes me about why I didn’t just use the computer to play the music, this requires me explaining that I didn’t have an iPhone, iPad or iTunes in the 1970s.
The look of disbelief she gave me at contemplating a time before John Campbell widens to total absurdity at my suggestion that there was ever a moment in history that didn’t have immediate access to digital music.
I’d lost her to the red carpet by this stage.
You forget that the story of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat reads more like a radical zionist settler propaganda but skipping that it’s the same old quirky camp romp with the xtra cheese lining dialogue that has made this a classic since it debuted in the early 1970s
The music is just so damn catchy and the humour seamlessly woven. The inane stylistic changes each song demands from Parisian, to Caribbean to cocaine infused disco is all part of the hilarity and good naturedness of the show.
What makes this one such a must see however is the cast. They are fucking loving it. The entire ensemble take to the perforce with a glee that just makes the show fizz and pop with the vibrancy that is the secret to Joseph being such an enduring favourite.
If you could bottle the energy of the cast we could solve climate change.
Nádine Hoffeldt, Jonathan Roxmouth and Earl Gregory
The star performers are Nádine Hoffeldt who as narrator keeps the whole thing fun but also sets the level of singing quality which Earl Gregory’s Joseph manages to exceed in song after song. Gregory’s rich voice adds a quality to Joseph that has been missing since bloody Jason Donovan ruined it in the early 1990s.
The highlight for me however was Jonathan Roxmouth who as the Pharaoh just made the evening compete. His swagger his timing, his comedic approach made a 3.5 star performance a 4.5 star performance.
My daughter gave the show 50 out of 10. We argued on the way home how that didn’t really work as a way of measuring theatre.