MALVERN-BORN actor Richard Swerrun starred as Joseph in this sparkling production of the classic Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice musical and he certainly stole the show with a deserved standing ovation at the end.

Softly spoken, but with a strong and dynamic voice, Richard really brought the enigmatic character of Joseph to life.

The scene where he was reunited with his brothers and father was extremely moving and the audience certainly empathised with his many woes while he was imprisoned.

His rendition of Close Every Door was one of the best I have heard and in the climax scene, his Any Dream Will Do was fantastic and had the audience dancing in the aisles.

The choreographer and associate director Henry Metcalfe deserves special praise for his innovative working of the well-known story.

The arrival of the Pharaoh as the King - or Elvis - was a master stroke and actor Marlon Moore was superb in this role, backed up by a cast of American football players! The audience certainly appreciated his second rendition of Stone The Crows.

Other nice touches were the talking camels and Joseph's signposted boat journey from Canaan to Egypt.

The dancing scenes were superbly executed and the finale when the coat of many colours was unveiled was both thrilling and dazzling.

Narrator Abigail pulled together the threads of the story well and had a superb singing voice to boot.

All of Joseph's brothers played their roles superbly and I especially enjoyed Aaron Romano as Asher singing the highly entertaining, reggae-inspired Benjamin Calypso.

Dean Nolan, who doubled up as Napthali and Baker, had a superb operatic quality to his voice and was funny in his cameo appearance as the Pharaoh's imprisoned baker. Ledbury-born Gregory Bradley was also good in his role as Benjamin, especially the scene when Joseph tricks him.

The musicians didn't play a wrong note all night and were superbly directed by Robert Chalmers on keyboards while special mention should also go to the set designers for their simple, but effective, staging which effortlessly switched between Canaan and Egypt with the movement of a few props.

Director/producer Bill Kenwright should be congratulated for his version of the show which is one of the best I have ever seen.