Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’s first production was in March 1968. The story, brainstormed and turned into fruition between the summer of 1967 and 1968, follows the life of Joseph. The original performance, conducted by Alan Doggett, was just 15 minutes long but left the audience on their feet at the end of the show.
The show became a hit with a second performance conducted in May 1968 followed by a favorable review in The Sunday Times.
A third performance quickly followed in November 1968 with audience numbers growing to over 2,000 people.
Joseph follows the biblical story of Joseph with lyrics from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The story revolves around the “coat of many colors,” which is found in the Book of Genesis. The musical consists of little dialogue, but what is said is often sung.
By 2008, it’s stated that the musical has been performed at over 20,000 schools and amateur theaters.
The UK production was re-cast in 2010 before facing several cast changes over the next seven years. In 2016, it was announced that Joe McElderry would play the role of Joseph in the most recent UK tour. McElderry is known for his performance on The X Factor and his hit song, “The Climb,” which hit the number one spot on the UK Singles Chart.
McElderry sold over 2 million records by 2014 and brings his vocals to the stage.
Considered a “shining star” on stage, he provides life to the musical with his simple, solid and silken performance. Critics state that McElderry may be the best voice to have ever played the role of Joseph on stage.
The biblical story spans two acts with the Narrator telling the story through song and word. The narrator gives life to the story guiding the audience through the story of Joseph and his brothers. Jacob, Joseph’s father is also a major part of the production.
The musical starts with the introduction of Joseph and his 12 sons.
Joseph has a dream that he is to rule over his family leading to him being sold as a slave before being taken to Egypt. The story continues with a look into the family’s life without Joseph and his time as a slave to Potiphar, a rich Egyptian slave owner.
Act II begins with a further look into Joseph’s dreams that predict abundance followed by famine. The story unravels with Joseph being reunited with his family and wearing his colored coat once again.