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I spend a lot of time at either the cinema or theatre. You will then find reviews from these films and shows!

Joseph the Musical (UK Tour) Review

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Cast

Joe McElderry – Joseph

Lucy Kay – Narrator

Henry Metcalfe – Jacob/Potiphar

Emilianos Stamatakis – Pharaoh/Judah

Venue – Sunderland Empire

Date: Tuesday 31st May 2016

This was not the show I was expecting to see when buying tickets for Joseph. While I had never seen it before I was familiar with the songs as had listened to the soundtrack in the past. I was certainly not expecting the songs to be done in Wild West, Calpyso and French. Oh and Elvis as the Pharoah. I am being serious. Like why? Honestly why? Because if it was just for some cheap laughs and humour I really did not find it funny. Maybe I don’t have much of a sense of humour but I just felt it took away how powerful some of the songs really are.

I couldn’t quite believe what I was watching in all honesty and the only thing that saved the first part of the show was Joe McElderry’s incredibly moving and emotional rendition of ‘Close Every Door to Me’ which is easily the best moment in the show. He has an amazing voice and the level for performance of that song is an incredible theatre moment. He was easily the only thing I enjoyed about the show. I always thought he would end up in musical theatre with his powerful voice.

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At the interval I was really trying to stay positive but I wasn’t impressed with the random change in styles taking the story to a weird place. I thought it wouldn’t get any worse than that in the second act though, what did I know? The Elvis part is the closest I have come to walking out of a theatre, honesty why? Elvis? How is it even relevant at all. Worst thing is that you have to endure him twice and it was awful. If I was alone I think I would have left! But I was also curious about how Joe would nail ‘Any Dream Will Do’.

They did some cool things to show his coat with all of the colours and I did think that looked visually stunning. As did the use of lights throughout to show the many colours on his coat.

I am not saying that the cast did not have great voices as they did. Lucy Kay as the narrator has such a powerful voice and showcases that from start to finish. They had very good voices, I just felt the style in which the production went for took away some of the edge of the songs and the meanings away from them.

That might seem strange considering I have not seen any other productions. But I thought it was going to be more of a serious show, but some moments made it hilarious. The singing camel and sheep that did not pop up properly. I have no idea if that was even meant to be funny or not?

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Its not very often that I don’t enjoy a show at the theatre. I usually enjoy most of it and maybe a song or moment that I did not like. This was not the case with this one and I think it’s mainly disappointment. I am pleased to say our very own star from South Shields is still fantastic showcasing his amazing voice and acting abilities. I really hope he will keep appearing in different shows and I will continue to follow his career very closely. So pleased that he is still going with different choices,  oh and I have to take a moment to be shallow and mention how incredibly muscular his legs are, wow!

I know a lot of people will enjoy the show so don’t let me opinion put you off. I just was not feeling the direction it went in. I was expecting it to be moving from start to finish yet it only had a couple of moments I found moving. You can easily tell the music and lyrics are Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I found myself thinking of Evita and Phantom of the Opera at times with different songs, so it was nice to hear the first collaboration of the pair in a live performance even if it was not what I expected at all. I know they change productions over the years to keep them fresh, but surely this isn’t the best it has been?

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I am very interested to hear others opinions on this show! 

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7 responses

  1. Aw, I love Joseph, and they always do it in the different styles! I think it started as a school play originally so maybe that it explains the randomness a bit. I think it’s just meant to be light-hearted and fun 🙂

    June 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    • Caz

      Thanks for the comment 🙂 and clearing it up a bit. I went with my Mam who had seen it in the past and said it was nothing like how she remembered. But we had heard the schools version is slightly different in terms of production.

      June 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm

  2. Annie

    I’m so sorry but you have had a major sense of humour failure or went to the show having read nothing about it’s origin and history. It was written for children and then expanded into a full length production. The full film of Donny Osmond’s production (available on youttube) is tongue in cheek and subsequent productions have all been lighthearted and jolly (with contrasting serious moments). It’s a brilliant way to introduce kids to theatre and let them listen to genres that they won’t hear on Radio one.
    I’m afraid you really did miss the point by a journalist’s mile 🙂

    June 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    • Caz

      Hi Annie. Thanks for your comments. I think after having never seen this show after watching a lot of different theatre it really didn’t turn into the show I was expecting. Joe McElderry was fantastic and his rendition of Close Every Door was great!

      I guess though I was bound to find some shows that I just didn’t like or enjoy after seeing a lot of shows over the years.

      June 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm

  3. EBJ

    I had never seen this show before and went mainly to see Joe vocally smash “Close Every Door” which, of course, he nailed. Yes, it’s performed in a humourous and irreverent manner but surely there’s room in Musical Theatre for all styles of show. I didn’t find that the light hearted tone marred the quality of the vocal talent on display and I’ve not heard anyone else say that either – either in the audiences or in reviews.

    Maybe you should go again and just go with the flow now that you know that it’s bright and gaudy. At least this is a show where not only is the singing of the 2 leads stunning but also every single member of the cast can sing, dance and act to an exemplary standard.

    This show with Joe and Lucy has had 5 star reviews ever since it started its run back in January – for the simple reason that’s it’s fun and fabulous.

    June 3, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    • Caz

      I’m just going to accept that we don’t like everything we see. The productions change and aren’t for everyone, and I am sure some of my favourite shows/plays others would have disliked as well.

      The best thing about shows and the reviews that go with them is that it’s all opinion based and luckily we all have different opinions. Joe has a fantastic voice and shows great acting ability in this as well, I’m pleased he’s surprised people with this.

      June 4, 2016 at 8:24 am

  4. Pingback: 2016 at the Theatre | Let's Go To The Movies

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