Everything you need to know about 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' in London
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the first Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical to be produced, is set to return to the London Palladium in the West End in 2021. The two-time Olivier Award-nominated production follows its predecessor; a show with a huge legacy, having spring-boarded Rice and Webber who gained a reputation as one of the best musical writing teams there has ever been.
As the musical returns to London, what can we expect from the new London Palladium production? Discover more about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and book Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tickets on LondonTheatre.co.uk.
What is the story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
Joseph is based on the ‘coat of many colours’ story from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Joseph had 12 sons, but favoured Joseph out of them all and gave him a colourful coat as a gift. The brothers are envious, and they become even more disgruntled when Joseph tells them of two dreams in which they all bowed down to him. Between them, they play to sell Joseph as a slave to merchants, and even murder him.
The musical also focusses on Potiphar, a rich Egyptian who buys Joseph to work in his household, and the Pharaoh, who sees something in Joseph, and presented in the musical as an Elvis-like figure.
When was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat written?
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was in fact the second musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The 20-year-old lyricist Rice wrote to the 17-year-old composer, to say he had heard Webber was looking for a ‘with it’ writer of lyrics for his songs. The pair met, and immediately hit it off and wrote the musical The Likes Of Us, though it wasn’t produced for 50 years.
Their second creation would be the one to leave its mark. In 1967, the songwriting duo were approached by a family friend of Webber, head of music at a local school Alan Doggett, who asked the pair to present something that could be performed at an end-of-term concert, preferably with a religious theme. The following year, a 15-minute musical based on the story of Joseph and his father Jacob was performed at the school, which was quickly followed by a performance at Central Hall in Westminster.
They were clearly on to something big, and continued to work on the piece, eventually taking it to New York and then recording a concept album. Around this time, Webber and Rice’s third musical Jesus Christ Superstar was just getting off the ground and in August 1972 It opened at the Palace Theatre. Later that month, Joseph was presented by the Young Vic Company at Edinburgh International Festival, and it later moved to the Roundhouse in London, and later, the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre) in the West End.
It was still only a 35-minute production of the musical, but after some reworking – and a broadcast on Granada Television – the musical was produced in its full state in Leicester in 1974.
Who is in the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
The 2021 production stars Jac Yarrow as Joseph, reprising his performance from 2019. Although he made his West End debut in the role, he was nominated for an Olivier Award, alongside Sam Tutty and Andy Nyman.
Jason Donovan plays the Pharaoh. Having made a name for himself down under in the hit TV show Neighbours, becoming a well-known face before launching a pop career, which saw him duet with fellow Aussie and Neighbours co-star Kylie Minogue. In 1991, he took on the lead role in a restaged production at the London Palladium, and his recording of “Any Dream Will Do” gave him his third UK number one.
The role of the Narrator is shared between Alexandra Burke and Linzi Hateley. Alexandra Burke is a chart-topping singer/songwriter, whose hits include "Bad Boys" and "Broken Heels". After winning The X Factor, Burke has starred in musicals including Chess, Chicago and The Bodyguard. Linzi Hateley originated the role of the Narrator in the 1991 production, but has since starred in Mamma Mia! in the West End.
The cast is completed by Steffan Lloyd Evans, Bobby Windebank, Femi Akinfolarin, Jabari Braham, Gemma Buckingham, Thalia Burt, Jasmin Colangelo, Jonathan Cordin, Francessca Daniella-Baker, Alexander Day, Andre Fabien Francis, Llandyll Gove, Abigayle Honeywill, Blythe Jandoo, Danny Nattrass, Perry O’Dea, Georgina Parkinson, Emily-Ann Potter, Jon Reynolds, Rochelle Sherona, Katie Singh, and Callum Train.
What theatre in London is Joseph at?
What is the running time of Joseph?
Joseph has a running time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, including a 15 minute interval.
What are the songs in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
One of the most notable songs from Joseph is opening number “Any Dream Will Do”. The song was a huge hit, with Donovan’s recording hitting number one in the UK and Ireland (and, curiously, number three in Austria). Other big numbers include “Close Every Door”, which Joseph sings about his alleged relationship with Potiphar's wife, and act one closer “Go, Go, Go Joseph".
Here’s all the songs in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Prologue (Some Folks Dream) - Narrator
Any Dream Will Do – Joseph, Children
Jacob and Sons/Joseph's Coat – Joseph, Narrator, Jacob, Brothers, Wives, Children
Joseph's Dreams – Joseph, Narrator, Brothers, Female Ensemble
Poor, Poor Joseph – Narrator, Brothers, Female Ensemble & Children
One More Angel in Heaven – Reuben, Jacob, Reuben's Wife, Brothers, Wives
Potiphar –Joseph, Narrator, Potiphar, Mrs. Potiphar, Male Ensemble, Children
Close Every Door – Joseph, Ensemble, Children
Go, Go, Go Joseph – Joseph, Narrator, Baker, Butler, Ensemble, Children
Pharaoh's Story – Narrator, Ensemble, Children
Poor, Poor Pharaoh – Joseph, Narrator, Pharaoh, Butler, Ensemble
Song of the King – Pharaoh, Ensemble, Children
Pharaoh's Dream Explained – Joseph, Ensemble, Children
Stone the Crows – Joseph, Narrator, Pharaoh, Female Ensemble
King of My Heart - Pharaoh
Those Canaan Days – Simeon, Jacob, Brothers
The Brothers Come to Egypt/Grovel, Grovel – Joseph, Narrator, Brothers, Female Ensemble, Children
Who's the Thief? – Joseph, Narrator, Brothers, Female Ensemble, Children
Benjamin Calypso – Judah, Brothers, Female Ensemble, Children
Joseph All the Time – Joseph, Narrator, Brothers, Female Ensemble, Children
Jacob in Egypt – Ensemble
Any Dream Will Do (Reprise)/Give Me My Coloured Coat – Joseph, Narrator, Ensemble, Children
Joseph Megamix – Full Company
What are the reviews of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat?
For the 2019 production, we loved the uplifting joy that Joseph provided audiences. In a review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, Mark Shenton said: "It's never exactly subtle... there's still the ever-buoyant tunefulness of this score to compensate... this Joseph is all go, go, go... I wouldn't be at all surprised to see it returning as a summer staple in future years."
Where can I buy Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tickets?
Article originally posted: 28 February 2019