I can still remember my first trip to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was in the late 1970s, and my parents took me to watch a school production performed by kids at a school where a friend of my Dad’s was a teacher. It must have been one of the first musicals, if not the first musical I’d ever seen, and I like to think my love of musical theatre started right there. I continued watching musicals as I grew up, and in fact when the geekdaddy and I started dating one of the first things I did was to take him to see Les Miserables in London, because I wasn’t going to get serious with anyone who wouldn’t come to musicals with me!
When the geekdaughter told me that her school production at the end of last term was going to be Joseph, I thought it was ambitious for an infant school. The cast would be made up of 4 – 7 year olds, with the Year 2 kids (6 and 7 year olds) taking the lead roles. The geekdaughter was in Year 1 and her class were going to sing a couple of the songs, including the well-known “Go Go Go Joseph”. She had also been selected as a dancer which meant she would do some extra dancing on the stage as well. The Reception class (4 and 5 year olds) were going to sing that well-known (?!) song from Joseph “Alice the Camel Has 5 Humps”. Yes, I know it’s not in the original score, but it fitted into the story well, and was perfect for kids of that age!
Despite it being an amazingly ambitious production for young kids, they pulled it off. The kids all did really well, with the girl who played Joseph being the star of the show. It was clear that all the kids were really enjoying themselves, and that made it lovely to watch. It also made me think that maybe my kids were old enough to see a professional production of the show, so I checked the local theatre listings to see if it would be touring any time soon. As luck would have it a new national tour was coming to one of our nearby theatres in September, so I booked tickets for us all to go.
The geekdaughter was a little put off when she saw the promotional material for the show, because she didn’t think Joseph “looked right”. Having watched the DVD over and over and over again, I think Donny Osmond is the only Joseph for her! Once the show started though, all that was forgotten, and she sat spellbound through the whole thing, with a big smile on her face. The geekson was a little more wriggly (he’s only four, and it’s quite a big ask to get him to sit in a theatre seat through a performance, even though he is amazingly well behaved). I could tell he enjoyed it too, as he burst into floods of tears at the end, along with exclamations of “I really loved that singing lady!”. Is it possible my son has his first crush on Danielle Hope?!
The production is everything you’d expect of a professional Joseph. As is typical with the show there have been a few changes made to it – Pharoah has a new song, and a few of the songs have been slowed down. To be honest I thought this was a bit of a shame, as the slowing down made the show drag a little, and certainly wasn’t good for a wriggly four year old. But the core of the show is most definitely still there, and it still has the wonderful “feel good” factor.
We all thoroughly enjoyed Joseph, and it remains a great show to take younger kids to.