This week we were treated to a trip to the theatre by my parents to see the touring production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It was amazing; a joyful, energetic and kitsch interpretation of the musical.
In our family we have such fond memories of Joseph and it seemed the perfect choice for the first musical for the children to see live at the theatre. I went to a lovely little primary school where the highlight each year was our school play, it became the focus of the summer term and happy hours were spent rehearsing, painting scenery and making costumes. I feel so grateful to have gone to a school where the creative arts were valued and promoted. Joseph was one of the plays we did and I remember quite clearly being in the chorus with my white t-shirt printed with Joseph in vivid colours singing away happily to all the songs. When watching the play I could remember the scenes from our school production, especially the Deputy Head as a very frightening Potiphar! Our family loved the musical so much that we bought the cassette of the soundtrack and many, many childhood journeys were spent singing and listening to it in the car. It is some testament that nearly 35 years later, I am still pretty word perfect in all of the songs from the original musical. In what could be a sense of history repeating itself I downloaded the songs onto my iTunes this week and played it on the car journey home!
The atmosphere at the theatre was lovely, a real sense of excitement and it being half term there was a wonderful mix of children, parents and grandparents. The performance was sold out and the audience all appeared pretty excited and happy to be there and all knew the songs well; there was lots of enthusiastic participation, particularly at the end when among the standing ovations, reprises and dancing most of the audience were singing along too. It was one of those lovely moments you just want to freeze and take in how wonderful it is, this is live theatre at its best. The lead was played by Joe McElderry a winner from X Factor in 2009. I remember him vaguely from the time, Oor Joe, but I’ve always been a Strictly girl on Saturday nights. However I was so impressed by him, he was stunning as Joseph, his voice is incredible and his acting in the role was perfect too. He is what Joseph should be and is definitely my Joseph. The other characters all were well cast and genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves in what must be a pretty energetic play. Despite it be a touring production, the scenery and props were fun and created a great show, Little Man liked the talking Sphinx and camel and there were some rather clever costume tricks too.
It was a really special afternoon at Joseph blending a little nostalgia from my childhood, the children’s first musical at a theatre and a brilliant show which had 3 generations of us standing and singing and clapping until our hands were sore. Needless to say I’m now looking for our next musical experience, there is nothing comparable to brilliant, live theatre.