Bristol Hippodrome

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat 

June 2013

Well, I wasn't expecting a quirky all-singing and all-dancing comedy when I went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Bristol Hippodrome this week.

As a Bible story I thought it would be pious and preaching, full of happy-clappy gospel music. Wrong.

Okay to start off with I got the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical muddled with Jesus Christ Superstar and mistakenly thought I had seen it before. Wrong again.

Then when the curtain went up I couldn't make out who the blonde chap was and momentarily thought it was Jason Donovan as he obviously had strong following among the audience.

My companion whispered 'it's H from Steps' - I was none the wiser but then pop history like tales from the Old Testament aren't my strong point.

Before I continue let me stress the show was good, really good but – and perhaps I have spoilt my praise here - it was funny ha-ha and funny peculiar

For example the king of Egypt (Luke Jasztal) was played by a hip-swaying Elvis impersonator wearing a white satin suit and then there was the West Indies calypso chorus, Wild West cowboys, blow-up sheep and an inflatable camel! 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opened in Bristol on Tuesday night as part of a major UK tour and if it comes to your town this 1970s revival is certainly worth a visit.

It is the story of paternal favoritism leading to its ‘star’ being sold into slavery by jealous siblings – all 11 of them born into a polygamist family headed by daddy Jacob (Henry Metcalfe).

Joseph’s ability to tell the future saves him from a life of hard labour when he interprets the dreams of Pharaoh Presley and anticipates seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

This show is fluffy and light, the set is Middle Eastern theatrical, the performers talented and the local children who spent the whole show mostly sitting singing on the ‘steps’ are super.

Joseph played by 90s pop star Ian 'H' Watkins was much adored by the opening night and the tune Any Dream Will Do resounds in my head forever after.

It ended with a standing ovation, several curtain calls, lots of bowing and hoops of delight for the cast.

Probably not my best musical of all times but it was entertaining and you left with a feelgood glow and big smile on your face.


Carol Deacon