Review: Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat - Light Entertainment
Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat: it might have all the spirituality of Santa Claus at Christmas but it is nonetheless a lot of fun.
|PIC1|Well folks, we can't expect too much spiritually from the Joseph musical. It isn't exactly a faith-inducing rendition of the Joseph story. But it is entertaining and fun for the family, and a great way of introducing the story to children.
I admit, I was looking forward to shedding a few tears here and there in the more poignant scenes, such as when Joseph gets sold to Egypt by his jealous brothers. Instead of a heartbreaking scene where Joseph is being torn away from his home and hurt as his brothers betray him, it was a comical moment that brought more laughter than tears.
I'm not a big fan of crying, but I do like to have those 'moments' when of fighting back tears during scenes more sentimental and soul-stirring. I even remember wiping away a tear during the Lion King musical, when Mufasa dies and Simba is told to run. Sad scenes are necessary to bring back twice the joy when there is a happy ending and the high jinks of the Joseph musical could have done with just a little bit more of that.
Some parts were also inappropriate given that there were children present, for example when the almost bare-breasted wife of Potiphar tries to tempt Joseph in what is an unnecessarily raunchy scene.
But the play is meant to be nothing more than an entertaining and comical look at what is actually a real tear jerking biblical story and so long as you are willing to overlook that, there's still lots to enjoy.
You might find yourself charmed by the 'Elvis Pharaoh' and 'rapping-brothers-with-sunglasses', who had the audience in creases. The songs are also classics, ("Any Dream Will Do", "Close Every Door") and, ultimately, the message is still very inspiring: Joseph is an infinite dreamer, an overcomer, and in the end he forgives the brothers who sold him.
Lee Mead is also faultless in his performance - charming and demonstrating a real talent for understated comical expression. If I were to compliment one thing only, it would be casting such a perfect actor for the main role - thanks to the British public. I don't think anyone could have taken the lead better than Mead.