4* Review Joseph Musical Palladium 2019

Joseph at the London Palladium 2019

This summer Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat returns to the iconic London Palladium.

Unlike the laughably shambolic Kenwright production that has plagued the country for decades, this show offers a truly sensational orchestra, world class sound, stunning lighting & a remarkable STAR! There’s no inflatable sheep anywhere to be seen. These two current productions should not be confused!

Michael Harrison’s revival of this timeless story offers camp glitz, polished choreography, one of the biggest stars on TV, a Joseph legend and the slickest possible re-telling of this legendary family musical.

This show is a sellout before a single critic has reviewed the show. The public love Joseph and this, therefore, is a smash West End hit before it has even opened…



The EXCLUSIVE HD Video Review @ Joseph:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has become one of the world’s most iconic musicals. It’s told entirely through song with the help of very bouncy, ebullient northern Narrator. The show follows the story of Jacob’s favourite son Joseph….and his 11 brothers.

Running at 50 minutes per half, this is my dream show! All killer no filler and in the pub by 9.30pm.

The problem with this musical is that you can’t really mess with it, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is make it better. We just want the hits and our beloved tale.

This production is grand, bold and has remarkable sizzle in places…

Here’s the top three things I love about Joseph 2019:

  1. Jac Yarrow is stunning as Joseph. What a voice & killer moves too. Outshone EVERYONE on that stage vocally.
  2. The Orchestra & Sound – Flawless. 16 in the pit making this simple score shine more brightly than ever before.
  3. The lighting & choreography is divine.

Jac Yarrow has just left college (the week before he started rehearsals) and now stars as Joseph! Oy vey.

Although he doesn’t get top billing, he is THE show – and rightly so. Sensational vocals and 100% believable. Dream casting.

His ‘Close Every Door’ is worth a visit alone. I’ve NEVER heard it sung more beautifully or indeed perfectly. This scene was beautifully lit and staged. Magical! I’d go back just to see this.

A star is born…

The most surprising casting that shocked Showbiz in 2019 is the BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith who plays a VERY different Narrator!

No longer is this a cute, overlooked vocal part – it’s bawdy, brassy, ballsy, hip-hop ‘cool dude’ re-imagining of the part. A brave move!

Think Les Dawson meets Bette Lynch with the physicality of Dawn French. Act 1 was breathtaking! The poor cow doesn’t get a second – there’s no doubting she’s earning every penny of her cheque!

Few could pull this off with the adoration and backing of an adoring audience. For that Ms. Smith gets my unreserved respect.

This is not stunt casting for the poster. Harrison is no fool – she’s all over it! What Sheridan lacks in elegance she makes up for in energy. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

Vocally her part is a tough sing at the best of times. There’s no arguing that she drives and ‘is’ Act 1. Add in her constant schlepping across the stage and it’s an Everest scale challenge 8 times a week!

In Act 2 Smith relaxes as others shines, but, vocally this is where she comes alive and kills it. At her best she has a beautiful tone and raises the roof at the Palace Of Show Business.

Unsurprisingly Ms. Smith got the biggest cheer of the night at the bows.

Jason Donovan returns to Joseph 28 years after he first appeared in the title role. His 5 minute cameo in Act 2  was on request of the Lord from what I understand.

I cannot deny he got the biggest reaction of the night during his only number….six times I think. Don’t build your part love….even if you do look delicious semi-naked in front of 2000 at 51!

Clearly Donovan hasn’t been booked for his vocal talents, however, he whips up the crowd and plays the parody rock star part perfectly.

Donovan’s number ‘Song of the King’ has the most spectacular set in the entire show. It’s glorious.

This is the Palladium standard from the ‘good old days’. Quite brilliant. Immersive and breathtaking.

I wish I could watch this scene as a 10 year old boy. It’s enchanting…

The ensemble are quite remarkable. My second favourite moment of the night (after Jac) was ‘Canaan Days’. Chilling harmonies and staging. A masterclass on every level.

Overall this show whizzes by and impresses. Does it compare to Wicked or the Lion King….I don’t think it ever did and at £160 for centre stalls seats, this is the most expensive West End ticket cost per minute – However, we’re buying nostalgia. Surely that’s priceless?!

Joseph takes us back to better times when Stars were mega-stars and the Iphone hadn’t been invented.

There are several sensational moments in the piece and although some of the costumes feel more Primark than Gucci – you get rewarded with 5* killer moments from Yarrow & the company.

There’s no doubting Sheridan has made Joseph her own! This one will be remembered forever.

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 5th July 2019.