Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber
The Lowry, 10 January 2012
It would be pushing it a bit, I think, to call this musical a classic; but it does have a certain magic.
The whole shebang is clearly, absolutely absurd: Elvis as pharaoh, cowboy songs, calypso tunes, gospel anthems, that French ditty with the Eiffel Tower in the background… and so on, all in Ancient Egypt. But because the musical flaunts and even peacock-struts its very absurdity, somehow it all holds together. Meta-cognition, irony, call it what you like, is a kind of glue. Just as Bryan Robson was, in Ray Wilkins’ immortal summation, ‘an egg’ (‘So versatile,’ Ray helpfully elaborated) so Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a meringue (lightweight yet durable).
Keith Jack as Joseph, and the whole of the cast actually, do a sterling job in bringing the musical to life. Here Charlotte Watts as Mrs Potiphar, a temptress and a half, naturally caught the eye, but I must admit also to a fondness for Richard J. Hunt, who’s been in this production each time I’ve seen it. (And was he also in the recent production of Spring Awakening? I’ll have to check.) He’s a stellar stalwart of the show, who’s always lively and giving it 100%+, really getting into the spirit of the thing. His vivacity is as infectious as Joseph’s coat is impractical.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at The Lowry until 15 January, details here.