Mead, already a professional performer prior to becoming a household name on the BBC’s Any Dream Will Do, has been performing the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat since the production opened at the Adelphi on 17 July 2007 (previews from 6 July). As previously reported, he will step down on 10 January 2009 (See News, 18 Jul 2008).
If the Jesus Christ Superstar rumours prove correct, it will be the first major revival since its 1997 run at the Lyceum theatre which starred Steve Balsamo in the title role. Marianne Elliott is perhaps a surprise candidate to direct, being primarily known for her productions of ‘straight’ plays including War Horse Saint Joan and Harper Regan at the NT, and As You Like it and Much Ado About Nothing for the Manchester Royal Exchange, of which she is a former joint artistic director.
Mead’s potential replacement as Joseph, 30-year old Gethin Jones, is a former bank clerk who presented a variety of Welsh children’s TV programmes before landing the job as a Blue Peter presenter in 2005. In 2007 he came third in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing series, and later that year appeared in the show’s Christmas special. If he does don the dreamcoat, it will mark his professional theatre debut.