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