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Review: Joseph and his Dreamcoat at Playhouse

PUBLISHED: 14:58 17 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:58 17 February 2016

Joe McElderry as Joseph

Joe McElderry as Joseph

Copyright Mark Yeoman 2013

Having performed Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at competition level with my primary school choir, the musical has always held a special place in my heart.

So when my eldest son was following in my footsteps and involved in his primary school production at the time I was giving birth to my second son, it seemed appropriate to name the newborn after one of the characters and as his father and myself already liked the name, we called him Reuben after the eldest of Jacob’s sons.

And when Reuben, who is now seven, started coming home from school singing the songs and excited that one of the characters has the same name as him, (and even the same spelling!) it seemed only natural to want to see a production of it, so imagine my delight when the musical arrived at my local theatre, The Playhouse, in Weston!

It was an added bonus that said production is actually the West End’s longest running musical which is now on tour so I had high hopes for it to be a great night and Reuben and I were not disappointed.

The eponymous hero is played by 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry who donned the coat with flying technicolours, proving his worth after battling off worthy contenders Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon to the reality TV crown at the tender age of 18.

Since then Joe scored a number one hit with his rendition of Miley Cyrus’s The Climb and his debut album Wide Awake went straight in at number 3 in the UK Album Chart.

The Geordie lad has gone on to have two more top ten albums, and became the first X Factor star to release four albums, with a fifth in the making.

You would never know that it’s his first major theatrical appearance and an actor friend of mine took to social media straight after the show to say that she doesn’t usually approve of reality stars taking parts from seasoned but unknown actors but ‘Joe McElderry - what a voice’!

The Bill Kenwright Limited production also stars Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Lucy Kay who puts her powerful operatic voice to good use narrating the story.

Other notable performances came from Emilianos Stamatakis, whose brilliant portrayal of the Pharoah as Elvis, provided a wealth of humour and the children of Bristol School of Performing Arts who sat patiently and still as statues on stage throughout, providing backing harmonies and their own beautifully-sang part which kicked off the second act.

The show, which has enjoyed rave reviews in its 35-year history, has stunning Egyptian sets and an amazing feel-good factor, with last night’s performance calling for encore after encore.

The cast were only too obliging and belted out the most popular songs Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door and Jacob and Sons several times.

Another friend of mine commented to me afterwards that it is a “really happy, watchable show - loved it’.

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is on until Saturday with tickets, costing £28-£34, available from the box office on 01934 645544 or at www.theplayhouse.co.uk

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