Words: Paul Crofts. Photos: Pamela Raith Photography.
Having seen the publicity photos of Bill Kenwright’s new touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, I was really excited to get to see the show at Storyhouse.
With several famous names including Jason Donovan and Philip Schofield having donned the famous technicolour coat, this production stars boy band Union J’s Jaymi Hensley as Joseph. From the moment he walked out on stage to the familiar strains of Any Dream Will Do, Jaymi proved that he is a worthy successor to any of those big name stars who have worn the famous coat before him.
Hensley well and truly shakes off his boyband image with an assured performance throughout, nailing all the well known songs in the show with ease. His voice is powerful and almost operatic in quality at times. I must admit to be pleasantly surprised at just how good he is. He has a confident manner throughout and you can hear every word when he sings, something of a rarity these days.
Jaymi certainly puts his own stamp on the famous role and his interpretation of the singalong favourites in the show. It is clear he has a bright future in musical theatre ahead of him.
The ensemble cast are all excellent and the tight harmonies produced by Joseph’s brothers are an absolute joy. Trina Hill as the Narrator holds the whole story together and proves what a fine voice she has, holding her own against the excellent live orchestra. Her rapport with the children’s choir is really lovely.
Talking of the children, I must give a very special shout out to the choir, made up of students from Stagecoach Performing Arts Chester, who did a fantastic job underpinning songs including Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door To Me. I’m sure there will be many proud parents and family members in the audience during the run.
The production values of the show are everything you would expect from a Bill Kenwright production with a great set, effective lighting and as you would imagine, some very colourful costumes ranging from cowboy outfits to American Football-themed Egyptians and the famous coat itself. All very impressive for a touring production. There are also the usual fun elements to the set and props including a talking camel and inflatable sheep.
Stand out performances
One of the stand out performances of the night was undoubtedly Andrew Geater as the show’s lip curling, hip swivelling Elvis inspired Pharaoh, Andrew brought some nice comedy to the role and demonstrated what a great voice he has, surely a name to watch for the future, destined to go far, could become a star… (see what I did there?).
The show reaches its climax with a fast paced energetic performance of a medley of the hits from the show with the audience encouraged to join in, suddenly the whole theatrical experience takes on the feel of a stadium gig and Jaymi Hensley’s boyband experience comes into its own.
The audience gave the cast, musicians and crew a well deserved standing ovation and were treated to a rousing encore of Any Dream Will Do. As the audience filed out of the auditorium many could be heard still singing and humming the song, even in the queue for the ticket machine in the adjacent car park, surely the sign of a good night had by all. We give Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat a rainbow coloured ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs at Storyhouse until Saturday 20 April 2019.
Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes. Please note that photos supplied by PR for the production may include previous cast members.