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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: to savour a bite of childhood again

by Rory Buccheri

courtesy of Tristram Kenton

There are many things, as a 20-something-year-old, that I enjoyed about last night's showing of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at His Majesty's Theatre.

Always paying attention to the bits and bobs that go behind making theatre, I was fist struck by the choreographies, how perfectly timed and visually stunning they were. The actors danced joyfully to the can can in the first bit, then tap danced in the second, then broke into song again and effortlessly offered us an Elvis moment hard to forget.

I kept observing. I found the cast superb: from Joseph, the saviour who's a bit too perfect for everyone to handle, to the charming Narrator, played last night by Rochelle Sherona impeccably, to the kids and the brothers, a feisty bunch.

Yes, the plot had a bit of Lloyd Webster went wild and a bit of his trademark genius here and there, remastered and...brought to 2020s technicolor.

I was counting all these things in my head, things that make a musical good: music, cast, choreography, costumes, writing, flow.

Then the train of rationale stopped in its tracks, and I was carried away, dragged into something beyond words and reviews and press seats. All of a sudden, I was a kid again. With the kids listening to the story, I remembered when I was a child and heard the same story: what I liked of it, how it made me feel.

In a moment of ''then the room started spinning'', I actually began to see it brought to technicolor in front of me. When that rational thought stopped, I hopped on the sounds and colours and shouts and murmurs of the musical.

courtesy of Tristram Kenton

Behind this production, then, there is much more than qualitative value for the brainy types to grapple with. There is a dreaminess about it, an invitation to let all reins go and just be a child again. Be impressed by things big and small. Break into laughter when the statues move heads and sing along.

Listen to a story, dare to imagine, and abandon all the rational reins.

So what if the song stops and plays twice, thrice, and louder and louder? So what if everyone stands up and dances? You should too!

Whether you are a musical aficionado like me and are always peeking behind the curtain or you simply enjoy the energy, the joy spreading in the room when people are on stage, this show may be your cup of tea.

If you, instead, are fond of a certain seriousness, I recommend looking for it elsewhere, and not in a genre in which people sing their heart out, swap silly costumes, and tap dance on stage.

Some shows, more than others, are an invitation more than a set answer. They are a door that, if you dare opening, will take you to magic places. Places where you can feel like a kid again, and let the technicolor dreams guide you.


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