Joseph Jaymi

Jaymi Hensley as Joseph with Trina Hill as the Narrator. Pictures: Pamela Raith Photography

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Birmingham Hippodrome


For a musical that was first performed way back in 1968, as an educational production designed for schools, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has certainly found its way out of the classroom, becoming as huge an icon of musical theatre as the pyramids themselves.

This current touring incarnation is an awe inspiring production that assaults the senses with colour, energy, humour and a massive dose of the feel good factor.

However, the original bible story of Joseph, son of Jacob, and his eleven brothers is almost buried under the showbiz antics of this Rice and Lloyd Webber classic, due to the sheer weight of the glossy entertainment layers that have been applied to it. The original musical parodies have been so perfected now to the extreme, that the result is more Monty Python than Biblical.

Stepping into the role and shouldering the coat is Union J's Jaymi Hensley who quite honestly delivers a superb and massively confident performance, shattering anyone’s expectations of some flimsy boy band member.

Exuding a musical theatre confidence beyond his years he delivers a powerful and emotional performance that captivates the audience with its intensity. To say that he has a good voice is an understatement as he has clearly undergone some impressive training to change his pop style for this shift into musical theatre. Looking like a young John Barrowman with a voice to match, he clearly has set a path to future stardom in this genre. 

jacob and joseph

Henry Metcalfe as Jacob with son Joseph

Another pivotal role is that of the narrator played by Trina Hill who also rose to the occasion with her clear powerful voice even topping the huge sound of the band led by Jeremy Wootton. In fact the music production was one of the things that contributed so much to the power and energy of the show in that it needed some pretty impressive vocal work to rise above it. Many of the songs were supported by an excellent choir of local children and Trina Hill seemed to connect with them much to the delight of the audience.

Henry Metcalfe played a frail Jacob and his reunion scene with Joseph was touching and heartfelt. A real scene stealer is Andrew Geater as the Pharaoh King the Elvis lookalike who fully embodies the persona of Elvis, lip included, even if it was hard to hear what he was actually singing.

That fact seemed to be the case when Joseph himself asks for a recap so he can get his dream analysed. Although stated that the spectacular staging of this touring show is a long way from any school hall production it was down to the performance of Jaymi Hensley to reflect the core message.

His focus on the character seemed to be the only part that carried what is at its heart an emotional story of separation, envy and family. It’s more Broadway now than ever and whilst the younger audience might not get the relevance of Elvis or some of the pastiche musical references it’s still packed with a rich entertainment value that exceeds anything you might have ever seen before.  To 13-07-19

Jeff Grant


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