Live Review: Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Joseph Rowntree Theatre

When I left Joseph Rowntree Theatre last night I was absolutely exhausted, just watching the amount of energy the cast put into the show wore me out!

By Angie Millard

Joseph is a popular show beloved of schools, Amateur Groups and occasional professional tours but I doubt any company could have given it more bravura.

Congratulations to Director and choreographer Kathryn Addison and to Musical Director, John Atkin. Hours of rehearsal paid off superbly.

The company performed and danced with huge joy, no one was ever out of step, it was a fully committed ensemble.

The versatile set consists of stairways linking an overhead platform and the choirs of children from Wigginton and Knavesmire Primary Schools were placed on either side. Their singing was moving and effective as a support to main numbers and their behaviour was impeccable. 

Joseph, played by Jonathan Wells, captured the sincerity of the role and developed moral strength as the plot progressed. The clarity of his voice echoed this. 

As the narrator, Jennie Wogan-Wells had a difficult task to link and maintain the energy of the piece; she achieved a relentless pace and her vocal range gave precision and versatility to the musical score.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has achieved much in his lifetime and it is interesting to hear his earlier compositions blending so well with Tim Rice’s lyrics. There is a clever use of diverse styles and comic pastiche to add variety of tone. Anthony Gardner’s Pharaoh becomes an Elvis tribute act, the brothers present a hilarious French torch song with the addition of a café Apache dance and later in the show a very funny calypso. I wish that I could name the actors who led the individual set pieces but the programme didn’t specify who they were. Lauren Charlton Mathews and Rachel Higgs also make valuable contributions in extra roles. 

Bravo York Musical Theatre Company!

Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is being performed at Joseph Rowntree Theatre until 27 May 2023.