Final 12 Josephs Include Two West End VeteransDate: 10 April 2007
The twelve finalists in BBC One’s Any Dream Will Do, the Graham Norton-hosted Saturday night TV programme to cast the lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s upcoming revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre (See News, 5 Apr 2007), include three professional actors, two of whom have previous West End experience.
Lee Mead, 25, joined the company of Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre last year, understudying the principal role of Raoul. He has also already starred as Pharaoh in the tour of Joseph, produced by Any Dream Will Do judge Bill Kenwright. His other musical credits include Tommy and Miss Saigon.
Daniel Boys, 27, has appeared in the West End productions of Grease and Rent, understudying Adam Ricketts as Mark in the latter. Trained at Guildford School of Acting, Boys’ other credits include tours of West Side Story and Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. The other agented performer, as listed in casting directory Spotlight, is Johndeep Moore, 23, who was a quarterfinalist in the BBC Voice of Musical Theatre competition.
The other Any Dream Will Do finalists, many of whom have had varying degrees of training, are: student Antony Hansen, 17; student Ben Ellis, 18; student Chris Barton, 19; clothes shop assistant Chris Crosby, 18; former boyband member Craig Chalmers, 25, who now sings for a male strip troupe called G-Force; supermarket customer service assistant and student Keith Jack, 19; student and former boyband member Lewis Bradley, 17; builder Robert McVeigh, 23; sales and marketing and IT worker London-based IT worker Seamus Cullen, who, at 35, is the oldest competitor.
The thousands of hopefuls who auditioned via nationwide open auditions since January were whittled down to 50 who attended Joseph school. As televised on this past Saturday’s programme, Lloyd Webber and his judging panel - actor John Barrowman, vocal coach Zoe Tyler (both of whom appeared on last year’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?), actress Denise Van Outen and impresario Bill Kenwright (who is co-producing the West End season with Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Theatre Company) – then decided on the final dozen who, over the next seven weeks to 26 May 2007, will compete to win the public vote and a chance at West End stardom à la Maria victor Connie Fisher.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opens on 17 July 2007 (previews from 6 July) at the Adelphi Theatre. The new staging of the record-breaking 1990s production at the London Palladium, which was directed by the late Steven Pimlott, will once again be designed by Mark Thompson and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. With music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, the musical’s popular score includes the songs "Any Dream Will Do", "Close Every Door to Me", “Go, Go, Go Joseph”, “Those Canaan Days”, “Benjamin Calypso” and "One More Angel in Heaven".
On Saturday nights in April and May, Any Dream Will Do goes head-to-head with Grease Is the Word, the ITV programme to cast a couple to star as Danny and Sandy in the new West End revival of Grease, opening at the Piccadilly Theatre in August (See News, 16 Mar 2007). The rival reality show – involving Grease’s lead producer David Ian, who was also Lloyd Webber’s Sound of Music co-producer and fellow judge on last year’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? - airs for ten weeks from 7 April to 9 June (See Photos, 29 Mar 2007).
- by Terri Paddock