A MUSICAL as old as time - or as old as 1968.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is part of British culture.

"You haven’t seen Joseph? Get thee to the theatre right away!"

Watching Joseph can be likened to school trips to Marwell Zoo or similar places of interest; it’s part of growing up in the UK.

And the fact it was first performed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in a school concert in 1968 makes it all more poignant.

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Prior to watching the dazzling performance at the Mayflower Theatre on April 20, I had only watched Joseph on my TV at home during lockdown.

I had some homework to catch up on, and I was keen to watch the show in all its multicolour glory.

If I’m being completely honest, I have always found Joseph a bit, well, naff.

For me, it was never particularly memorable and was a bit too earnest for my liking. Nevertheless, I was happy to be proven wrong.

And by jove was I proven wrong.

Daily Echo: Jac Yarrow outside the MayflowerJac Yarrow outside the Mayflower

This new production, directed by Laurence Connor, offers a modern and fresh twist on the well-known musical.

When watching a musical that has had over 20,000 productions staged worldwide, you fear it may become a bit tired, but this particular production of Joseph is the antithesis of tired.

The set is simple yet bold and almost child-like in its design.

The sun is the centrepiece and its changing colours saturate the stage beautifully, a testament to Ben Cracknell’s lighting prowess.

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The show really begins to dazzle (quite literally) when the desert hues make way for a more blingy backdrop imitating Las Vegas for the Pharoah’s palace.

But a set would be nothing without the performers on stage, and the children’s choir was full of unexpected stars of the show.

They were intertwined into the story - playing adults and children - and were a breath of fresh air throughout.

For me, the youngster who played Potiphar stole the show. His performance rivalled that of some of his older castmates and was utterly brilliant.

Leading the older members of cast was Jac Yarrow who delivered a first-class performance as Joseph, looking like a chiselled Biblical superhero.

Daily Echo: Jac Yarrow as Joseph. Photo: Tristram KentonJac Yarrow as Joseph. Photo: Tristram Kenton

His rendition of ‘Close Every Door’ gave me goosebumps and was the stand-out performance of the night.

However, Alexandra Burke was the main attraction of the show. 

A far cry from her X-Factor days, Burke shone on the musical theatre stage as Narrator and wowed the audience with her powerful vocals.

She may be a chart-topping artist, but she was made for musical theatre.

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Her energy as Narrator (and as her other myriad of characters) is infectious and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

After watching her on Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, I knew she was a remarkable dancer, but what made her performance even more impressive is that she is heavily pregnant.

This did not impede her performance in any way - she was energetic, fun, and rightfully received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end.

It was a full-circle moment for Jason Donovan who returned to the Joseph stage performing as a rockabilly Pharaoh.

Daily Echo: Photo: Tristram KentonPhoto: Tristram Kenton

His performance wasn’t as strong as the others in terms of vocals, but he delivered fun and entertainment, two vital ingredients of this musical.

I also have to give credit where credit is due to the incredible performers who played Joseph’s brothers.

‘Those Canaan Days’ was one of my favourite performances of the night.

Will Hawksworth was a fantastic Simeon and had excellent comedic timing during this number.

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The performers who played the wives of the brothers and various other parts throughout the show complemented every song with their impressive vocals and even more impressive dancing.

And quite frankly, they were the glue that kept the show together.

It’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised by Joseph, and if you haven’t seen this production, I strongly suggest you do.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at the Mayflower Theatre until April 23.

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