Darren Day and his real-life partner, former Hear’Say pop star Suzanne Shaw will star together in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for the final seven weeks of the musical’s West End run. The couple take over on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2005, at the New London Theatre, where the re-staged production opened on 3 March 2003 (previews from 13 February) and will now close, at the end of its current booking period, on 2 April 2005 after a two-year run.

Day's theatre career first took off in 1993 when, as understudy to Philip Scofield, he assumed the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium. He returned to the musical in 2003 for a limited engagement at the New London and later in the separate touring production, both directed and produced by Bill Kenwright (See News, 11 Aug 2003).

Prior to that, in 2002, millions of television viewers watched as Day locked horns with nine other celebrities - most heatedly, with 'It' girl Tara Palmer-Tompkinson - in the launch series of reality programme I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. Day’s other musical credits Great Expectations, Copacabana, Grease, Summer Holiday and The Rocky Horror Show.

He and Shaw met in 2003 when they co-starred in the touring production of Summer Holiday (See News, 5 Mar 2003). Now engaged, the couple have recently had a child together. In Joseph, Day will return to the title role, while Shaw will play the Narrator.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 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. The musical went on to huge success in the West End and 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".

No further productions have yet been announced for the New London.

- by Terri Paddock