Thursday, 29 January 2009

Joseph - Theatre Royal Brighton

Joseph & his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Music: Andrew Lloyd-Webber

Lyrics: Tim Rice
Director: Bill Kenwright

Reviewer: Kimberley Knudsen

You have to hand it to Bill Kenwright for this revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph. Any show that can get the audience singing the songs in the foyer before the performance even starts is clearly on to a winner.

viewing figures for recent television ‘search for a star’ shows such as Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything prove that there is still a great demand for light hearted singalong style musicals and tonight’s audience whooped, laughed, clapped out the rhythms and sang along as if they really felt part of the show themselves.

Judging by the queues of smiling faces, young and old, waiting for autographs at the close of the show, Craig Chalmers has a burgeoning fan club who didn’t seem to be worried if he came 5th or 50th in Any Dream Will Do. Although his voice was a little lacking in depth, his cheery personality and obvious charm more than made up for it and his work down the gym meant that he could carry off wearing a loincloth with aplomb.

With animated eyebrows Roger Moore would be proud of, Tara Bethan turns in a great performance as the narrator, launching into the songs with gusto whilst also crystal clear in the quieter moments. Almost stealing the show from Craig Chalmers is Antony Hansen as the 70’s Elvis style lip curling, hip shaking Pharaoh who proved to be very popular with the audience.

As you’d expect the whole thing moves along at a cracking pace taking in the 1920s style of Potiphar’s household, via Paris and the Caribbean and back to Egypt. With some innovative props including talking camels, inflatable sheep and boats that double up as jail cells, together with some energetic choreography the cast look like they are having as much fun as the audience which sums up the evening perfectly

Joesph runs at the Theatre Royal Brighton until Sat 31st Jan
frontpage hit counter