WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE? London Palladium RUNTIME: 120 minutes (including 20-minute interval)
WHEN? 29/6, opens 11/7, booking to 8/9/19
We know we’re in safe hands when the always reliable Sheridan Smith channels Eric Morecambe from behind a fake moustache, confiding to the audience: ‘It’s still me.’
- Read on for reasons including why Yarrow gets the biggest applause here
Indeed the most memorable moments in this revival of one of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s best-loved musicals are those when national treasure Smith’s Narrator is goofing about explaining what is happening.
The loudest roar of approval from the predominantly young audience tonight though was when the bare-chested Jac Yarrow proves he’s more than a match for the stirring ballad Close Every Door.
Yarrow is not only making his West End debut but he doesn’t actually graduate from the Arts Educational School until the final night of this run on 8 September.
The origins of Joseph date back to the 60s and tells the coat of many colours story from the Bible’s Book of Genesis.
Arguably its most popular incarnation was in 1991 at this very venue when then pop star Jason Donovan starred and topped the singles charts with Any Dream Will Do and also the album charts with the cast recording.
It’s inspired casting to have Donovan return as the Pharaoh but anyone familiar with the show will be aware that it is essentially an Elvis parody appearing in only 2 songs before returning for the encore. Donovan’s never been the greatest of singers in our opinion and here he has the moves but his diction is poor.
In contrast Yarrow’s diction is faultless even when some of the lines are cringeworthy: ‘fratricide’ isn’t a word one might be expecting to hear alongside: ‘I am handsome, I am smart. I’m a walking work of art’ or ‘What I saw last night in my pyjamas was a long-range forecast for your farmers’.
Smith and Yarrow are 2 good reasons to see this production but we feel it’s still rather thin stuff and that there are better options if you’re looking for 1 show to see this summer.
Just been to see the show and Sheridan is bloody brilliant. The show was fantastic and Sheridan was so versatile and funny it totally made the show. We’re buzzing Thank you
Just seen the show today
And jac has a good voice and will get better the more he does .Jason seen better days with voice .and Sheridan plays a comic roll as narrator .
Not the best show overall or version but done with a kids more involved in show .
a bit different but you leave with the ‘feel good’ factor
We have a family tradition of seeing Joseph whenever it gets revived. Now the fifth version – Just got back from seeing it and we all thought it was the best version we’ve ever seen. Got to be seen. Such a great evening.
Really didn’t work for me. Sheridan ruined it for me, taking over the show from Joseph and becoming the lead role. It should have been called Sheridan Smith with special guest Joseph. Her singing was ok by the over acting, silly voices and playing various parts was embarrassing. Jason’s singing was poor and you couldn’t hear the words. I left the theatre feeling very deflated and wishing I hadn’t gone to the show. This is a shame as the rest of the cast did a good job.
I thought the directing and the sixth form style production were poor including children wearing pantomime false beards and looking frankly, out of place. The disappointing scenery was wobbly and weak for the London Palladium. Choreography was poor as was the lack lustre chorus. Thirty minutes into the show which had me looking at my watch, there was a ‘technical fault’ and the show was halted. It was a good opportunity to leave and I was home feeling very cheated of a good evening.
I completely agree with your comments Rob, my family and I have seen Joseph every time it has been performed since I was 8, I am now 54. Sadly our mum passed away last year and in honour of her love of Joseph 16 of us went to see it at the palladium yesterday on her birthday.
I found Sheridan Smith’s performance cringe worthy and was disappointed that she played so many roles (especially Jacob) and we also missed the big finale of pulling out all the colours from Joseph’s coat. I would never see it again in its current format and that’s a real shame after being such dedicated fans of the show.
I am still in shock from seeing Joseph last night.
26yrs ago I first saw Joseph with my eldest sister and my eldest daughter. It was my daughters 4th birthday.
Unfortunately one year later my sister died
After that Joseph became special I have seen it many times since. I booked to see two shows one with each daughter
We sat there waiting for the intro. No music it just started We both looked a bit surprised Every show puts its own stamp on it but this was too much. Sheridan Smith appeared Tipsy for the want of a better word or very stoned. At one point she sat on the side of the stage with her back to the audience putting on her tap shoes Why didn’t she go off stage. A poor little girl missed her entrance as Sheridan sang the wrong lyrics Even the colours of the coat was different Also she got in the way of the girl tumbling. SS sang wrong words many times during the show. Some of her actions were not for kids viewing My daughter cried all the way through the first half The person sitting next to me said the same thing. Shall we stay or go at half time We stayed As for Jason Donavan he seemed as dead as Elvis Presley What happened to the rocking pharaoh Jacob must be turning in his grave We spoke to many people after the show who agreed with us
On a more positive note The band played a medley of songs at the start of the second half Many people started to sing the right words this was great. Jack Yarrow as Joseph was very good He got the biggest applause when he sang Close every door. What happened to Joseph’s big multi coloured coat at the end. Joseph was the main character so why didn’t he get the final bow. Somebody please sort this out, and let me know so I can sing along and wipe out this memory Rant over x
Jacquie Pryke, Karen Hughes, catch up with the Tour Production or, if it happens to be reachable, check out the Brothers Beyond show. That’s a show put together by former tour Pioneer cast members showcasing what they’ve done since and contains some of the Joseph numbers. It’s led by the Longest Serving Joseph ever – Mike Holoway, and directed by another ex-Joseph, Graham Tudor.