REVIEW: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until Saturday, April 6.

It simply doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it before. Joseph and the gang will always put a smile on your face within the first few minutes.

There’s just something about the wit in the lyrics, the fun in the staging and the sheer variety in the music which always makes Rice and Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece the dream ticket in town.

The very best Josephs are the ones which hit you with the swagger and the arrogance which makes Joseph Joseph; the very best Josephs also make you feel his despair and his anger. Richard Swerrun remains untouchable in that respect.

But Any Dream Will Do runner-up Keith Jack with his smiley, shiny, ever-so-slightly emotion-free Joseph is certainly entertaining enough – all part of a package which can never fail to win.

Part of the longevity of the show lies in the way that producers are keen to gently let it sway with the times, updating the choreography and changing the odd rhythm here and there. Maybe in this production they’ve occasionally gone a little too far, creating odd moments that jar and somehow don’t seem quite right to us Joseph aficionados. But there’s no doubting that allowing it to blend with changing times is spot on in principle.

As ever, though, it’s the music that really scores. Where else can you get everything from calypso to cowboy, via chanson and Elvis, almost every song shot-through with lyrics you sit and wait for?

Rhyming “pyjamas” with “long-range forecast for the farmers” will always be my favourite – and despite the updatings, it’s the sheer familiarity which is surely greatest pleasure that Joseph brings.

Phil Hewitt