I wont lie, I was massively over-excited to be taking my wife and little boy to see Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat at York Grand Opera House, as we had avidly watched Any Dream Will Do together on the Beeb on a Saturday night, a few years ago. Plus, as a little boy I’d seen the landmark Jason Donovon production in the West End.
Surprisingly, my five year old had never seen a production of Joseph before or heard the soundtrack, whereas the first thing I remember ever being expected to sing in school music classes was the score of Joseph and the Beatles When I’m Sixty Four. An odd pairing by the school music teacher in hindsight.
When I watched Any Dream Will Do on TV, I thought the Scottish lad Keith Jack gunning for the lead role against Lee Mead was pretty good. Although not as talented as Mead, I had always thought he would have been a more interesting choice for the principal part. And so it was with real expectation that I took my seat in the theatre knowing that in this touring production Keith Jack was to finally get his chance to play Joseph.
To cut to the chase, Jack wasn’t too bad, but every criticism made of him on the TV show was true: his acting was a little stiff and too small for the stage, his face switched-off sometimes, and his Scottish brogue made him swallow some of the lyrics. These points made constantly by ALW and other judges, while the TV series aired, just didn’t seem valid to me as I watched it at the time. You see the camera just loved Jack (who incidentally in very small). But now, I have a lot more sympathy for the opinion of talent show judges generally, who may well pick up very different things to what the camera does. If my experience is symptomatic, the live experience can feel markedly different to one that comes over the tv screen.
Mine and my wife’s review of Joseph is at the end of this post- but I would hasten to add that while Keith Jack wasn’t as strong as he had been on screen (in my opinion), he could hold a tune and had charm, and if the touring production comes your way it is well worth taking the kids to: Review in The York Press