Bill Kenwright has done it again! Yes, Joseph has arrived in Sunderland for what can only be described as a joyous night in the Empire Theatre. How he keeps the show fresh and vibrant is down to a number of elements. The story is a wonderful parable that I remember from junior school, Joseph had only been released to schools and I remember too fondly, singing the songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
The full on energy of each and every cast member is one of the major reasons for the shows continued success. There is no time for a missed beat or note, and the assembled cast deliver with enthusiasm and elation that cuffs you in the face.
Joseph this time round is played by Keith Jack. His voice, stage presence and charisma have all grown since he was runner up in the BBC search for Joseph. A very well sung and wonderfully judged performance. Lauren Ingram has the challenging role of the narrator, a role where the personality and charm of the performer is key. She is a joy to see and hear.
I could list each cast member as they all deserve a mention, but word count prevents it! The sets/lighting and costumes are bright colourful, and that only adds to the visual splendour of the choreography and set pieces. Almost 40 years after I sang the show in school a bright faced group of young performers took to the stage to join the cast. They were as expected, all charming.
A special mention must go to the musicians and the musical direction. The music conveys the story just as much as the cast on stage, they play each style of music with expertise. Pure joy!