22 August 2011

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (starring Donny Osmond and Maria Friedman)

I've known of and liked the musical 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat', written by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, for many years. It was very popular in the UK in the 1980s, often done by schools or other choirs, and many of the songs are well-known. So when I first saw this adaptation for film starring Donny Osmond, some years ago, I was not quite sure what to expect.

I was very impressed.

I saw 'Joseph' again four years ago, with relatives, and enjoyed it again.

Seeing it again recently with friends, I enjoyed it once more. It's very unusual for me to be able to sit through any film more than once but the music is enjoyable, the acting and directing excellent, and the whole musical an extravaganza, so cleverly done that even people who don't generally like musicals would most likely enjoy this.

Donny Osmond in the title role is extremely good, playing the young and rather arrogant Joseph in a believable way. The story follows that of the Biblical book of Genesis - Joseph is disliked by his brothers, sold as a slave in Egypt, and gradually rises to a foremost position under Pharaoh. The ending - which I won't mention, just in case anyone reading this does not know the true story - enables it to be both an example of God's provision and plan, despite men's deviousness, and also a happy-ever-after kind of story, ideal for family viewing.

The music is deliberately set in a wide variety of styles, from the well-known 'Any Dream Will Do', sung by Joseph, to the brilliantly executed song of Pharaoh which took our friends (who did not know the music) by surprise!

What I particularly like is the way that the whole is tied in with a school, the narrator beginning as headmistress, and a somewhat surreal integration of past and present. I was surprised how well it worked - and completely mesmerised the first time I saw it!

Suitable for all the family. Highly recommended.

review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews, August 22nd 2011

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