Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: 'An absolute joy' as Jason Donovan joins remarkable cast to raise the rafters at Blackpool's Winter Gardens

From the very first notes of ‘Any Dream will do’ to the furious mash-up of the productions song-list as the audience rose to their feet, this production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is an absolute joy.

Staged in the atmospheric Opera House within Blackpool Winter Gardens, this touring production brings with it star names – Jason Donovan as Pharaoh is the headline and is absolutely nailed on with his gregarious Elvis-like comedy depiction of the Egyptian king.

But this staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical is studded with less well-known star-turns, from the young children playing multiple roles to the enigmatic orchestra raising the roof from deep in the pit.

Since I last reviewed the show (this cynical old journalist has seen it dozens of times, performed in it as a child and knows every word) the arrangement has been re-jigged, the role of the children increased and The Narrator – played by the astonishing ( and Olivier-award nominated) Linzi Hately who held audience in the palm of her hand – has expanded.

Linzi Hateley and company of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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    She also plays multiple other roles, switching deftly from character to character with an elasticated beard or a shawl or a wink, her range is quite something alongside her pitch perfect singing voice – although she might want to rethink that Scouse accent. Only joking Linzi..

    The titular role is played by newcomer Jac Yarrow who, from his first step on stage IS Joseph – young, handsome, and with a voice that resonated to every seat in the theatre - was clearly born for the role.

    Alongside a multi-talented ensemble cast of professional dancers/singer and very confident children sometimes in fake beards, he pulls out the high notes, jumps around the stage, puppeteers and rides camels and carriages with aplomb and a twinkle in his eye.

    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat , at the Winter Gardens until Sat July 30 . Pictured: The Cast with (Left) Narrator Linzi Hateley and Jac Jarrow who plays Joseph

    A word for the staging which is remarkably versatile, the stage morphing from desert to Egyptian Palace to prison cell with clever lighting, curtains and moving scenery with the cast themselves taking on much moving and carrying, working this seamlessly into the choreography.

    But the star of the show, and the sheer joy of Joseph, is the spirits-raising score which puts a smile back into 2022.

    Jac Yarrow and company of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Jason Donovan and company of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat