H, aka Ian Watkins from 1990s pop group Steps, will make his West End debut next month in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the New London theatre. He takes over the title role from Pop Idol finalist Andrew Derbyshire from 2 March 2004, as the production celebrates its first anniversary in the West End.

H is the third of the five former members of Steps to make the crossover from music to musical theatre. In 2002, Lee Latchford Evans played Teen Angel in the West End production of Grease, while Faye Tozer, like H, is about to tackle an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, the one-woman song cycle Tell Me on a Sunday, which launches its UK tour this week, with Tozer alternating dates with Marti Webb and Patsy Palmer (See News, 27 Jan 2004).

In Joseph, H follows in the footsteps of Boyzone’s Stephen Gately, Darren Day, Philip Schofield and Jason Donovan to play the famous fortune-teller in Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s biblically-inspired musical which retells the story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and his coat of many colours.

The show started life in 1968 as a 20-minute entertainment for an end-of-term school concert. Its score includes "Any Dream Will Do", "Close Every Door", "Go, Go, Go Joseph", "Benjamin Calypso" and "One More Angel in Heaven". It was last seen in the West End in the early 1990s, when it ran for more than two years at the London Palladium.

This newly re-staged production opened at the New London on 3 March 2003 (previews from 13 February) and is now booking up to April 2005. It’s directed and produced by Bill Kenwright, whose separate touring production has a place in The Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest-running touring musical, having attracted an audience of over 15 million people during its 21-year run to date.

The cast of the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat also currently features Vivienne Carlyle (as the Narrator) and Trevor Jary (as Pharoah), who won this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.

- by Terri Paddock