Chalmers’ appearance in the tour means that the BBC talent competition, which concluded on 9 June by casting professional actor Lee Mead in the role of Joseph (See News, 11 Jun 2007), has now yielded two stars for the role. The UK tour – directed and produced by Any Dream Will Do judge Bill Kenwright, who also produces the London production – will run concurrently with the West End production, which starts previews tomorrow at the Adelphi Theatre (6 June 2007).
Before his appearance on the series, 25 year old Chalmers, from Edinburgh, was working as a ‘vocalist and entertainer’. He was once a member of boyband No Reason, who had a top ten hit, and used to perform with a male strip troupe, albeit as their singer. On the BBC website for the show, he says 'I would like to use my pop background to give Joseph a more up-to-date and modern image. It is also a really fun role to play. I'm new to musical theatre and I feel I could give Joseph a fresh, edgy personality'.
Chalmers’ casting is not the first of its kind; at the London Palladium, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria runner-up Aoife Mulholland appeared as Maria in addition to the winner Connie Fisher, sharing the role for two performances a week after Fisher was advised to rest following an illness (See News, 20 Mar 2007).
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 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. By the time it received its Broadway premiere in 1982, it had been expanded into a full two-hour show. With music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Joseph’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".
Following Bromley, Joseph visits Bath, Brighton, Cheltenham, Kings Lynn, High Wycombe, Plymouth, Derry, Dublin, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Bristol, concluding in Sheffield on 8 Dec 2007.
- by Jake Brunger