Weymouth Pavilion

DONNY Osmond, Philip Schofield, Jason Donovan, they have all played the leading role in this famous musical and have proved to be a very hard act to follow but X Factor winner Joe McElderry storms into the demanding role of Joseph with energy, panache and an appealing vocal talent that puts him right up there with the greats.

This show has been around for a long time but its emotional story line from the Old Testament survives the years as it tells of the young dreamer Joseph and his 11 jealous brothers who sell him into slavery but he overcomes his cruel fate to become the right-hand man to the Pharoah of Egypt.

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s unsophisticated musical brings country and western, rock ‘n roll and calypso into the score and the big cast sing and dance the evening away in a truly technicolor production that is crammed with special effects and visual jokes that generaate laughter all evening long.

And anyone eagerly waiting to see Joseph’s famous golden chariot will hopefully not be disappointed.

With a fine soprano Lucy Kay as the narrator and a fast paced cast of young performers who change roles and costumes in the blink of an eye, the standing ovation that followed was thoroughly deserved.

Special mention must go to the five musicians who replicate a full orchestra with amazing skill and in the tradition of the show, around 30 youngsters from the local Stagecoach group are onstage throughout to provide the chorus and they never put a foot wrong, an amazing and very welcome display of young talent.

An ingenious pyramid shaped stage set doubles both as a prison and a palace with colourful lighting creating a real visual treat while favourite songs like Close every Door to Me and Any Dream Will Do are given a new lease of life by the likeable Joe.

This top rated Pharaoh story is currently on a national tour and performances continue in Weymouth until Saturday.