Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a show that relies heavily on the likability of its lead. In this latest touring production of the hit musical, Mark McMullan (of Britain’s Got Talent fame) takes the starring role… and what a star he is!
Mark McMullan leads the show with his mighty vocals, but it’s the authentic acting and genuine likability that stuns. The audience really roots for him, and I for one totally tear up throughout the end of the show! What a talent, and what a perfect role for him to shine. I couldn’t envisage anyone playing the role of Joseph better. Truly faultless.
The rest of the cast are strong performers, but lacking in likability or unity which is a huge contrast from our leading man. Each of the brothers seems to be trying too hard to put their own individual characterisation on their role, which isn’t needed or necessary. The brothers should be one unit and we should dislike them as a collective – not as individuals trying to outshine one another. The same goes for cameo roles such as the Butler, Baker and Pharaoh.
Alexandra Doar is an uncaptivating Narrator. She can sing well, but struggling to hit the high notes comfortably and this means the overall tone is quite shrill. She tries hard to engage the audience but ultimately we’re all waiting for Mark McMullan to take centre stage again.
When I last saw the show, Jaymi Hensley took the leading role. He was really poor, but the rest of the cast were exceptional. If I could revisit that cast but swap Hensley for McMullan I think I’d be in a Joseph dream!
As always, the production value is top quality, with creative staging, classic direction (originally by Bill Kenwright) and choreography (Henry Metcalfe). The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical is an absolute classic and if you haven’t seen it, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. And if you have seen it, then go and see it again.
Catch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Bradford Alhambra from 4th – 8th February.