Wednesday 13th July 2022 at Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera house.
Reviewer: Rachael D
From the moment the multi-coloured curtain lifted and the orchestra struck up the overture, this production, directed by Laurence Connor, swept the audience along in a celebration of a beloved musical.
Our narrator, Linzi Hateley, was the star of the show. A Liza Minelli-esque MC complete with slinky black sequinned jumpsuit – an inspired choice by Set and Costume Designer Morgan Large. She embraced us like the small band of children she began the story with and her nods, gestures and grins to the audience placed us under her spell. Jac Yarrow as Joseph was subtle but strong. The prison-set ‘Close Every Door’ was a powerhouse of a ballad and drew the loudest applause up to that point.
80’s legend Jason Donovan stole the second half with his golden, glittery, glamorous turn as the Pharaoh. It was knowing and over the top in true Las Vegas style however it stayed the right side of cheesy and the audience lapped it up. For many in the audience who saw him play Joseph, his promotion to Pharaoh was both fitting and poignant.
There were some small niggles. The Narrator donning a beard to play Jacob felt clumsy and Potiphar should have been played by an adult actor. However, innovative touches such as the puppetry were whimsical and effective.
In the end, it was those memorable melodies by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the playful lyrics of Tim Rice, that provided the joy. They were brought to life with exuberance by the talented orchestra under the direction of John Rigby. The whirlwind of musical genres and the high energy dance routines choreographed by Joann M. Hunter and performed by the talented company of brothers and wives were breathtaking; bringing colour and energy to this Biblical story. The crowd pleasing Megamix finale provided a fitting conclusion to a wonderful evening.
As the streamers descended from the Grand’s ornate ceiling we all wore that technicolour dreamcoat for a few moments.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat plays Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House until July 23rd 2022 – you can find your tickets here. The show then continues its tour until October 2022 – more information and tickets can be found here.