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Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Joseph is 46 – yes, 46!! – years old. And, I’m ashamed to say that I have never seen it before today! In fact my only real awareness of the  show comes from Jason Donovan being cast in the lead role in the early 1990s, and the surrounding hoo-ha his casting caused (although he was apparently brilliant and soon silenced his critics).

So I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I went to see the show – I knew the basic storyline…Joseph is given a fantastically colourful coat and ends up as a slave, and there’s loads of music during the story – but that was about it. What I certainly didn’t expect was so much energy, colour and humour. If this show doesn’t make you smile, then you need your sense of humour checking.

X Factor winner Joe McElderry played Joseph, and brought a real freshness and vitality to the role. He also has a beautiful singing voice, shown off to full effect in such numbers as Close Every Door, and Any Dream Will Do. However, his is arguably not the largest part – that would go to the nameless narrator who has the dual task of being on stage pretty much throughout the entire show, yet not getting in the way of the action taking place. Lucy Kay and her stunning soprano voice  accomplished this beautifully.

I loved the array of musical styles, from country to gospel to calypso and some rather amazing Elvis Presley inspired numbers from the Pharaoh, played by Emilianos Stamatakis – who I had never heard of before, but I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that I’ll be hearing of him again…what a talent!

The cast were supported by local schoolchildren who were on stage the whole time and sang along beautifully with the music while remaining observers only to the story. Twhole cast seemed to be having a wonderful time, and so did the audience. By the end of the show, everyone was on their feet, singing, dancing and clapping along.

Truly fantastic, and a show not to be missed.

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