Australian Dance Reviews

‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’: Can’t help but leave with a smile

Euan Fistrovic Doidge, Paulini and ensemble in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'.
Euan Fistrovic Doidge, Paulini and ensemble in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'.

Capitol Theatre, Sydney.
17 February 2023.

Almost half a century after its original performance as a short school production in West London 1968, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s classic musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has once again graced the Australian stage for a comeback. Joseph has been performed for decades in schools and on professional stages alike, and Sydney has welcomed back this latest production with open arms and open hearts. A show for all ages, this production of Joseph was a perfect addition to the post-pandemic collection of works coming back onto the stage to give audiences a wide-open space to believe in their dreams again.

Paulini headed up the stellar cast as the Narrator, cameoing as Jacob, Potiphar’s Wife and a very funny ‘old timer’-esque jailer. This revised version of Joseph has the Narrator role woven deeper into the story as even more of a common thread than the previously established role, the quintessential storyteller who ‘puts on different voices’ to read a story to children. Not only is Paulini a vocal phenomenon, but she is also a wonderful actor who carried her role throughout the show to perfection. 

Euan Fistrovic Doidge played Joseph with a lot of pizzaz. He had a beautiful presence that carried his innocent, cocky yet earnest character through the performance, and he held his own vocally. Trevor Ashley was an absolute hoot as Pharoah come Elvis, and Daniel Raso was strong in his role as featured brother Simeon.

The ensemble/Joseph’s brothers and wives were woven brilliantly throughout the work, personalities who in their own right, complemented each moment with humour, fun choreography and wonderful vocal arrangements. They were integral to this production of Joseph, making it a wholistic piece, carrying essential elements of the atmosphere, and creating the impression of large and dysfunctional but ultimately familiar family that the story originates from. There were a lot of quirky moments from the ensemble, and the gags just keep coming.

The children’s ensemble was a highlight of this production. They were adorable, held their own and had incredible stamina to carry the show from start to finish, playing a major role in the storytelling. They had a beautiful vocal sound, and their acting was good. It was fun to see some of the kids playing brothers and swapping between various roles as much as the adult cast did. It was also refreshing to see their movement had an organic feel to it, not the too polished over-performed eisteddfod-style movement that we often see in children’s performances. They were children performing as children, a mature and uplifting expression that is a credit to the casting and direction (Darren Yap) of this production. It was also a great directing choice to use Aussie accents throughout this show, giving it a homegrown feel.

Costumes were simple but effective; the use of obviously fake beards and other kitsch costuming and set pieces was fun and very colourful. There were camels coming in moving on bikes, sheep on wheels who created a whole variety of funny moments, and ancient Egyptian statues getting into the performance in Pharoah’s Vegas-style number. 

Choreography was re-vamped for this revised version, now including a Cancan, and some tap dancing brothers. The choreography was an integral part of the storytelling, woven through the show to heighten the mood in celebration, change scene, keep the energy flowing and create a sombre mood as the story unfolded. The waves of energy just kept coming, and each number built on the last until the climactic “Joseph Megamix” at the end. 

Joseph is one of the best musicals to be currently playing in Sydney. It is suitable for all ages, and perfect for taking that friend who has never seen a musical before. It has all the feels; even the orchestra conductor gets into it with the audience during the overtures. You won’t help but leave this one with a smile, and don’t forget to whip out your phone, as photos and videos are allowed during the “Megamix”!

By Linda Badger of Dance Informa.

To Top