Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ Palace Theatre, Manchester

What is the first name that usually springs up when someone is asked to name a popular musical?

While these days it might be the likes of Kinky Boots or Hamilton, once upon a time the answer was always Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The production – a collaboration between industry legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber – was a staple of the West End in the 1970s.

Now, it’s in Manchester.

It’s seems fair to say that some may think the musical ran its course well before landing at the Palace Theatre.

However, within just a few minutes it’s clear that the story – along with its colourful characters and catchy tunes – is as magical as ever for present day audiences.

X Factor winner Joe McElderry is in the title role this time around.

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Following on from the likes of former leads Donny Osmond and Jason Donovan, McElderry is a certainly satisfying fit as Joseph.

Arguably, he lacks the ultimate ‘wow factor’ that was possessed by those who came before him, but he seems to enjoy playing the character and his enthusiasm is appreciated by those in attendance.

McElderry is joined on stage by Trina Hill in the role of The Narrator.

Hill’s vocal talents are certainly impressive – as is her ability to blend in rather than overshadow her fellow cast members.

Much like McElderry, she also seems delighted to be playing such a well-known part and never fails to smile while on stage.

Of course, it’s generally the calibre of tunes that determine whether a musical is a hit or a miss.

Luckily, Joseph has always been in safe hands in this department.

After all, it is the brainchild of Rice and Lloyd Webber. What else would you expect?

SATISFYING: There’s plenty for the eyes and ears to enjoy

A few of the songs are amongst the most iconic in theatre history, such as Any Dream Will Do and Go Go Joseph.

These – along with the likes of Close Every Door and One More Angel in Heaven – are both well-performed (and well-received) during this outing.

Throughout the show the ears are also treated thanks to the colourful costumes, understated set and a dreamcoat that doesn’t disappoint.

Admittedly though, this musical isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

It still features the head-scratching Elvis moments that, while ingrained in the plot, aren’t toned down in this production.

But if you can stomach a side of silliness along with the action, then this family friendly musical is probably right up your street.

*Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the Palace Theatre until Saturday, October 21. You can buy tickets HERE. 

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