29|06|19 Performance at Regent Theatre, Ipswich.
First performed in 1968, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is a timeless musical classic, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, that provides a retelling of the story of Joseph in the Bible’s book of Genesis. The play follows Joseph, one of twelve brothers, who is cast out by his siblings for being the favourite of their father Jacob, who dresses Joseph in a coat of dazzling and bright colours. Filled with jealousy, the eleven brothers sell Joseph as a slave to be sent to Egypt. There he encounters many hardships caused by his natural intellect and ability to interpret dreams, and predict the future based on their meanings. In no time, he finds himself in the presence of the Pharaoh, who enlists Joseph’s help in finding out the meaning of his dreams, and in turn, what these dreams will mean for Egypt.
The last week of June 2019 saw Ipswich’s Regent Theatre showcasing their production of Joseph, starring Jaymi Hensley, Trina Hill, and Andrew Geater as the lead roles of Joseph, the narrator, and Pharaoh. Hensley provided a convincingly and deeply emotionally charged portrayal of Joseph, however, for me it was the comedic ensemble of the eleven brothers that gave this production its flare through the perfectly choreographed group dances and their powerful, collective narrative voice of jealously. Unfortunately, I felt that the role of Trina Hill as the narrator didn’t bring anything new or exciting to the production, which caused me to cast her away as more of a side character used for the occasional announcement in a long, high note, as opposed to the dramatic and inclusive performance that I was expecting from such a key character.
What made this rendition of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat an excellent watch was the variety of music that the play uses, parodying multiple styles from the iconic Elvis ‘rock and roll’ to French ballads, Western, and even Calypso styled musical numbers. There truly is something there for everyone! The cast of this production were lively and managed to pull off each genre as if it were their favourite.
Overall, I found that this performance of Joseph encapsulated the perfect balance of a modern musical masterpiece while staying true to the biblical roots of the play – definitely worth watching with the family.