REVIEW: York Stage in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday ****

Gold top performance: Reuben Khan’s Joseph in York Stage’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. All pictures: Charlie Kirkpatrick

AFTER Lee Mead, Keith Jack, Joe McElderry and Union J’s Jaymi Hensley, Joseph’s coat of many colours fits Reuben Khan delightfully lightly at the Grand Opera House.

The University of York psychology student, from Burnley, has plenty on his mind: third-year studies; his debut York Stage title role and applications to London drama schools to do a Masters degree in musical theatre.

On the evidence of his assured performance at 23, especially vocally, his future looks as bright as the Technicolor Dreamcoat that had him “saying the colours of Jospeh’s coat before I could spell them” on car journeys with his mum.

Director, producer and designer Nik Briggs returns to Lloyd Webber and Rice’s early musical for the first time since his “Joseph as you’ve never seen it before” show at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in November 2018 with its  cast of 50 and Joseph in pyjamas.

Performing on crutches: Finn East’s Simeon singing with the Brothers

The Grand Opera House offers the opportunity to deliver a production on a bigger scale, not in cast size, but in lighting, staging and visual impact, aided by the fabulous parade of costume designs from Charades Theatrical Costume, St Helens.

The stage is built from scratch, as first the Narrator, Hannah Shaw, then Joseph and children from York Stage School (divided into Team Canaan and Team Egypt) oversee the creation of the world of Canaan, home to Jacob and his 11 sons (some of them daughters in Briggs’s company).

It looks so inviting, you want to book a holiday there. All it needs now to complete the scene is a camel. Oh, and here comes a camel on wheels, pretty much life-size!

From the off, this sung-through pop musical moves at a lick: typified by Finn East’s Simeon defying his injured knee to speed around on crutches, popping up everywhere and taking on a second role too as the Snake.

Hannah Shaw, who studied music at York St John University, sets the tone and style in glittering dress and shiny boots, engaging with the children like a teacher, driving the show forward and singing with oomph, both in her high notes and a lower register.

Storyteller in song: Hannah Shaw’s Narrator

Reuben Khan’s Joseph sings like a dream, whatever a song demands, whether tenderness, drama, power, or emotion further heightened by standing atop a ladder on a stage suddenly full of them in one of Briggs’s most striking designs.

Khan’s characterisation of Joseph has to be expressed largely through Rice’s narrative lyrics, and he does so particularly strongly in the dark ballad Close Every Door, while Any Dream Will Do is as irresistible as ever.

Lesley Hill’s choreography is as playful, fun and camp as this glitterball of a musical demands, at its best in the glorious ensemble number Joseph’s Coat, where Adam Moore’s lighting design matches every change of colour in the lyric.

Briggs’s company revels in playing old favourites with a knowing campness that has only increased with the passing of the years, especially in Jacob (Martin Rowley) and the brothers’ cod rendition of the sad chanson Those Canaan Days, exaggerated French accents et al.

The York Stage company in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Benjamin’s Calypso is even dafter, full of Caribbean joy as Cyanne Unamba-Oparah’s Judah has the brothers walking on sunshine.

Pop hit after pop hit hits home in all manner of musical styles, from Alex Hogg leading the brothers in the One More Angel In Heaven hoedown to Matthew Clarke’s vainglorious Potiphar luxuriating in the richness of his self-titled song.

In the absence of Carly Morton with shingles (get well soon, Carly), Amy Barrett takes on the rock’n’roll role of Pharaoh, traditionally played in sequinned-Elvis-in-Las-Vegas style. Not so much Elvis as Elvira here, but her Song Of The King is still a peach (one of the 29 colours in Joseph’s coat, by the way).

Adam Tomlinson’s 15-piece orchestra is on top form throughout, savouring the multitude of song styles and pumping up the beat for the Joseph Megamix finale as the party vibe suffuses the cast and cheering audience alike.

York Stage in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grand Opera House, York, 7.30pm tonight, Wednesday and Thursday; 5pm and 8pm, Friday; 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Saturday. Box office: