Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
The popular family musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat returns to London's West End in a new production featuring an actor in the role of 'Joseph' choosen by the public via the BBC 1 Saturday evening programme Any Dream Will Do.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat retells the biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and his coat of many colours and is full of unforgettable songs including 'Any Dream Will Do', 'Close Ev'ry Door To Me' and 'One More Angel'.
Please Note: Lee Mead will be on holiday from 14 to 26 January 2008, 10 to 15 March 2008 and 5 to 10 May 2008.
How confident is Andrew Lloyd Webber that the public will choose the right Joseph? "Well they choose the right Maria," says Andrew. "They REALLY choose the right Maria, but I think it is going to be a closer run race this year somehow."
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The original production of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was 'commissioned' by the Alan Doggett, Head of Music at Colet Court School, a small 'prep' school in Hammersmith, West London.
He knew Andrew's family well and knew that Andrew was trying his hand at composing, so Alan asked Andrew if he would like to compose something with a religious theme for the school's end of term concert. Andrew and his new writing partner choose the story of Bible story of Joseph, composing a 15 minute rock'n'roll pastiche version that was performed in front of an invited audiences of parents at Colet Court School on 1 March 1968. Andrew's father liked what he saw and heard and so arranged for a larger public performance to take place on 12 May 1968 at Central Hall Westminster, London of a slightly expanded 20 minute version which was well received. During the summer Andrew and Tim expanded the material by 10 minutes and it was recorded before having another performance on 9 November 1968 at St Paul's Cathedral, London and reprised again at Central Hall on 28 January 1969.
Andrew and Tim then moved on to other things - in particular their new show, Jesus Christ Superstar, which they wrote together. This musical was released as a concept recording in 1970 and was staged on Broadway in 1972 (running for 1½ years), and in London's West End in 1973 (running for an amazing eight years).
Interest in Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was reignited in 1972 when The Young Vic Theatre, under the leadership of Frank Dunlop, staged a 'glam-rock' version of Joesph to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival - the production, which had now been expanded to fill some 40 minutes, transferred to London's Young Vic Theatre in October 1972 before moving to The Roundhouse the following month where it proved to be a popular success. This production was preceeded by The Genesis Mediaeval Mystery Plays adapted from the Wakefield and York Cycles with music by Alan Doggett.
The producer Robert Stigwood then transferred the production to The Albery Theatre in London's West End on 6 February 1973. For the Albery Theatre production of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Andrew and Tim again expanded the show with a couple of extra songs - and The Genesis Mediaeval Mystery Plays was dropped in favour of a new 'prologue', Jacob's Journey, which was written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, but this prologue was dropped shortly into the run and Joseph was expanded by reprising a number of the songs. The show played for six months in the West End.
The Joseph musical then returned to London, in a production directed by Ken Hill, for a number of limited Christmas seasons in the late 1970s at The Vaudeville and Westminster Theatres.
The producer Bill Kenwright then staged a touring production of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1979 which toured for an amazing 12 years up to 1991.
In London Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was then revived in a major production directed Steven Pimlott at the large London Palladium on 12 June 1991 starring Jason Donovan in the title role. This production had been expanded by adding a 'Joseph Mega-Mix' at the end which reprised a lot of the songs, this was also the first professional production to incorporate the children's choir as an integral part of the production. This production was hugely successful, running for 2½ years. The show was subsequently filmed in a recast version staged in a film studio starring Donny Osmond as 'Joseph'.
Bill Kenwright's production of Joseph the musical then returned to touring the UK in 1997 which included a 2½ year run at The New London Theatre in London's West End. Bill Kenwright's production has gone into The Guinness Book of Records as the longest running touring stage musical of all time, having completed almost 20 years touring regional theatres in the UK.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, featuring the lead role of 'Joseph' cast through the television programme Any Dream Will Do is being staged at London's Adelphi Theatre from 6 July 2007. The 12 finalists are: Antony Hansen, Ben Ellis, Chris Barton, Chris Crosby, Craig Chalmers, Daniel Boys, Johndeep More, Keith Jack, Lee Mead, Lewis Bradley, Robert McVeigh or Seamus Cullen?