Lloyd Webber & Rice Premiere New Song in JosephDate: 16 July 2007
The opening of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre tomorrow night (17 July 2007, previews from 6 July) will mark more than the West End leading man debut of Any Dream Will Do victor Lee Mead (See News, 11 Jun 2007) - it will also see the world premiere of a new song by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Written especially for this production, “King of My Heart” takes its inspiration from Elvis Presley’ greatest hits, incorporating various Elvis song titles into the lyrics. It’s sung in Act Two by the pseudo Elvis character, the be-quiffed and hip-gyrating Pharaoh (played by Dean Collinson), immediately following the existing “Pharaoh’s Song”. Lloyd Webber and Rice’s last major collaboration was on the premiere of Evita in 1976. “King of My Heart” is expected to feature on a new Joseph cast recording released later this year.
Further scheduling details for Joseph have also been confirmed. From 25 July 2007, the role of the Narrator will be played at Wednesday matinees by Fiona Reyes, rather than Bombay Dreams’s Preeya Kalidas who appears in all other weekly performances. And in the title role, Lee Mead will be on holiday for the weeks commencing 14 and 21 January, 10 March and 5 May 2008, when the role is likely to be played by his understudy, James Bisp.
With an estimated box office advance in excess of £10 million – fuelled by the popularity of the two-month BBC One reality TV casting programme Any Dream Will Do, via which the public voted 25-year-old Lee Mead into the title part - the booking period for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has already been extended through to June 2008 (See News, 11 Jul 2007).
The musical, based on the Biblical tale of Joseph and his 11 jealous brothers, started life in 1968 as a 20-minute entertainment for an end-of-term school concert. The 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". This new staging of the record-breaking 1990s production at the London Palladium, which was directed by the late Steven Pimlott, is designed by Mark Thompson and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast.
- by Ryan Woods