At the New London, Bill Kenwright’s production of Joseph, which opened on 3 March 2003 (previews from 13 February), has added more than a year to its schedule and is now taking bookings up to April 2005.
The Biblically-inspired musical was the first-ever collaboration between Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice. It started life in 1968 as a 20-minute entertainment for an end-of-term school concert and went on to huge success in the West End, on Broadway and on tours throughout the world. Its score includes "Any Dream Will Do", "Close Every Door", "Go, Go, Go Joseph", "Benjamin Calypso" and "One More Angel in Heaven".
The musical was last seen in the West End in the early 1990s, when it ran for more than two years at the London Palladium, taking over £47 million at the box office. This newly re-staged production currently features Pop Idol’s Andrew Derbyshire in the title previously played by the likes of Philip Schofield, Jason Donovan, Darren Day and Stephen Gately.
Meanwhile, at the Apollo Victoria, Bombay Dreams - the first major musical conceived and produced by Lloyd Webber but not composed by him – has opened a new six-month booking period, taking it up to 26 September 2004.
In Bombay Dreams, young slum-dweller Akaash dreams of becoming a huge star in Bollywood, the £750 million Indian industry that produces and internationally distributes some 600 films a year. His encounter with beautiful Priya and her father, a corrupt movie mogul, sets him on his way. But is Akaash willing to pay the price of fame? And can his and Priya's love survive?
The musical, which premiered on 19 June 2002 (previews from 31 May), has music by AR Rahman, with English song lyrics by Don Black and a book by Meera Syal. It's directed by Steven Pimlott, choreographed by Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan and designed by Mark Thompson.
- by Terri Paddock