Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Norwich Theatre Royal
Norwich Theatre Royal
Well, what a panic when we all arrived at the theatre. Ian “H” Watkins was ill. The guy from Steps, the one plugged on all the publicity material as the best Joseph ever, was sick.
So it's step up Richard Meek as the main man and, frankly, after a couple of numbers it was a case of H who?
Not only that, but Richard is a great example of a bit of home grown talent as he's from Wisbech and cut his acting teeth in King's Lynn. He has a sweet voice, not a belt-it-out so they can hear you at the back one, and basically didn't put a foot wrong. The show has been packing the audiences in for almost 40 years and it's easy to see why. The first Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice production, it's packed with catchy tunes and witty lyrics and there's actually a clear storyline with a strong moral message.
Much of the music is reprised so you really feel you know and love the songs by the end of the show. And there are some crackers, including Any Dream Will Do, One More Angel and Close Ev'ry Door. As for the Elvis-loving Pharaoh, well, you have to see it to believe it.
This version has a strong cast, plenty of costumes and impressive scenery and it races along at a fair pace, so there's certainly no room for boredom.
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It's hoped that H will be back on form tonight but if not, Richard will do you proud - I was proud of him and I don't even know him!
On a personal note, it was a great evening for my family. It was the first time that my two little ones, aged five and six, have attended a night-time show and they loved it. As with many children, they'd seen the show at school and are comfortable with the tunes. As the cast tumbled into the auditorium during one of their many encores, a couple of the brothers gave my son a high-five.
It was almost too much for both mother and child. A clear success, and if my two approved, then you all will.
t Joseph runs at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, October 28. Call 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk