Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Regent Theatre

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the Regent Theatre through to mid-January

By: Nov. 18, 2022
Review: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Regent Theatre

After launching the careers of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice over 40 years ago, the biblical musical tale of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is back in Melbourne. Seen by over 200 million people worldwide in over 80 countries, it is no wonder that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has had 30 years of consecutive professional touring and been translated into 10 different languages. With classic musical theatre hits such as "Any Dream Will Do" and "Close Every Door" it is hard not to sing along to the tunes.

This revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat began at the London Palladium in 2019 with direction by Laurence Connor and choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. It features a dazzling pop concert lighting design by Ben Cracknell. In this current Australian revival, there are stand out vocal performances by Euan Fistrovic Doidge as Joseph, Paulini as The Narrator, Alex Hyne as Reuben and Daniel Raso as Simeon. The entire children's ensemble is a delight to watch, and Peter Rutherford's musical direction is exceptional.

While I did enjoy these elements of the show, and I have fond childhood memories of the score, I do find myself questioning the show's current relevance. It certainly is not 'ahead of its time' and does appear frozen in a pre cultural appropriation era. The pastiche song and dance numbers felt uncomfortable at times and the question must be asked, is imitation in this context appropriate? While some research into Canaanite culture and history appears to have been considered in the costume design for the show, the end result on stage suggests that this attempt was tokenistic.

The production's ethnically diverse casting is however encouraging to see, and both the adult and children's ensemble do a stellar job of energising and infusing the Regent Theatre's opening night audience with joy and passion. While Shane Crawford's performance as Pharaoh was certainly underwhelming, it should be taken into consideration that Crawford's mere presence, will attract new theatre goers. Perhaps this positive impact on the arts sector justifies casting Crawford? Despite his performance, the audience's applause suggested they loved seeing him on stage.

Daniel Raso as Simeon in "Those Canaan Days" gave a stellar performance which left you wanting to see more of him. Paulini navigated the challenging vocals of The Narrator well, adding in her own sensational pop diva nuisances. Euan Fistrovic Doidge's rendition of "Close Every Door" was outstanding and he certainly showcased his formidable pop vocals throughout the show.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the Regent Theatre through to mid-January. Between 27 December 2022 to 1 January 2023 the role of Pharaoh, will be performed by Trevor Ashley.




Videos