Monday, February 27, 2023


Paulini (Narrator) - Trevor Ashley (Pharaoh) - and cast in 
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber – Lyrics by Tim Rice

Directed by Laurence Connor – Choreographed by Joanna M. Hunter

Sets and Costumes designed by Morgan Large – Musical Direction by Peter Rutherford

Lighting Design by Ben Cracknell – Sound Design by Gareth Owen

Capitol Theatre, Sydney until 23rd April 2023.

Matinee performance on 19th February reviewed by Bill Stephens.

Euan Fistrovic Doidge (Joseph) and Paulini (Narrator) and ensemble in 
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

Originally written in 1968 as a 15 minute pop- cantata for a school choir in London, this first collaboration by a 19-years-old Andrew Lloyd Webber and a 22-years-old Tim Rice has undergone so many iterations since then that it’s doubtful that there is anyone left on the planet who has not either appeared in a school production or seen it presented as a stage spectacular.

This ebullient, post-pandemic production, while still quite spectacular, gives the show back to the kids, who happily don beards and join the adults to play many of the roles. It works a treat.

At this performance the role of Joseph was played by understudy, Jackson Head, who immediately owned the role, singing with confidence and performing with an unabashed youthfulness that was immediately engaging.

Jackson Head

In an interesting co-incidence, at the same time “Joseph” is running in Sydney, Jason Donovan, who had great success with this role in a 1991 production in the London Palladium, then played the role in of the Pharaoh in this production in 2021, is also currently in Sydney chewing up the scenery in the 50th Anniversary production of “The Rocky Horror Show”.

Paulini and the children in 
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

In this production though the show really belongs to the narrator, who not only narrates the story but who also interprets some of the characters. In this role, pop princess, Paulini reveals herself as a genuinely charismatic leading lady.  Flashing her wide smile, she sweeps around the stage, captivating the audience with the confidence and flair she brings to her interpretation.  Her warm, lush singing tone and occasionally idiosyncratic phrasing surprises while refreshing her songs. However she will impress even more when she realises that not every word needs a gesture.

Trevor Ashley and dancers in 
"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"

The role of the Pharaoh is played by Trevor Ashley who does what Trevor Ashley does best; create a small sensation whenever he’s on stage. You have to see for yourself. And just to make sure you notice him, he’s accompanied by a troupe of gorgeous dancing girls and spectacular golden scenery featuring huge guitar-playing idols.

Essentially though this is an ensemble production in which fine performances by the large ensemble cast, fun set and costume design incorporating delightful visual surprises, an excellent band and impressive technical support all add up to a hugely entertaining experience. 

If you’ve never seen a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” or even if you feel you’ve seen too many productions of “Joseph”; think again; you’ll kick yourself if you miss this one.


                All images, except the headshot of Jackson Head , by Daniel Boud.

     This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW.