Review: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Ipswich Regent, until Saturday.
PUBLISHED: 09:07 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:07 03 June 2015
Darren Bell Photography
It was a huge yes from the crowd for the opening night of Britain’s longest-running - and most colourful - musical.
Former X Factor contestants Lloyd Daniels and Amelia Lily were set to share the limelight with ex-EastEnder Matt Lapinskas. Daniels had to pull out through illness, so it was up to understudy and look-a-like Matt Brinkler to shine in the golden-lined coat-of-many-colours as Joseph. He did not disappoint with a sterling performance throughout.
After a tantalising instrumental medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score, Lily appeared on a spectacularly vivid stage in a dressing gown to start what was to be an amusing, if surreal, show.
Casting aside her dowdy robe, she revealed an astral-embroidered black waistcoat which helped her slip into the background as the narrator. But her voice was so strong, especially in the higher notes, that she nearly stole the first half so deserved more sparkle.
Setting off and maintaining a rapid pace, this madcap story of Joseph’s betrayal by his brothers continued featuring inflatable sheep and a Wild West skit with Stetsons and country dancing.
Then it was Brinklers’ moment. Spotlights from above created Joseph’s lonely prison cell as he unleashed an emotionally charged Close Every Door To Me and had the audience enraptured.
After the interval it all got more eccentric as Albert Square’s Anthony Moon portrayed Pharaoh brilliantly as a tongue-in-cheek Elvis. Lapinskas had the voice and the moves, gyrating his hips in a white jump suit.
The fun continued as the action switched genre from 1920s’ Charleston to French peasants and even a Calypso number.
Backing harmonies throughout were provided by about 20 children from Norfolk’s Broadland Youth Choir, who also came out of the shadows as little stars for their own number.
During the final megamix the audience were clapping and singing along, some even taking to their feet as the cast walked among them in encouragement.
I am not usually a big fan of Lloyd Webber musicals, but after this performance I might have changed my tune.