The two West End musicals that triumphed at this week’s 55th annual Variety Club Showbusiness Awards (See News, 19 Nov 2007) - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cabaret - have both announced extensions to their booking periods.

Joseph, starring Lee Mead (pictured) in the title role, has extended its booking period by four months at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre, where it’s now booking through to 18 October 2008. Mead - the winner of the BBC reality TV competition Any Dream Will Do who Sunday night took home the Variety prize for Outstanding New Talent - will continue to star in the production until this date.

Joseph 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 Andrew 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".

The new staging of the record-breaking 1990s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium, which was directed by the late Steven Pimlott, is designed by Mark Thompson and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The musical opened at the Adelphi on 17 July 2007 (previews from 6 July). In addition to Mead, the cast features Bombay DreamsPreeya Kalidas (as the Narrator), Dean Collinson (as Pharaoh) and Stephen Tate (Jacob/Potiphar/Guru).


Kander and Ebb classic Cabaret - which opened at the Lyric Theatre on 10 October 2006 (previews from 23 September) and this week scooped the Variety Club award for Best Musical Theatre - has added another eight months to its schedule, taking it up to 1 November 2008. Rufus Norris’ revival turns Weimar Berlin into a dark and sexually charged haven of decadence, its morally ambiguous inhabitants determined to keep up appearances as the real world - outside the sanctuary of the cabaret - prepares for the chaos of war.

Based on the stories of Christopher Isherwood and the play by John Van Druten, Cabaret has a book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Cabaret premiered on Broadway on 1966 and in 1972 was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles, Michael York as Cliff and Joel Grey as the Emcee.

The current cast features Amy Nuttall (as Sally Bowles), Julian Clary (the Emcee), Angela Richards (Fraulein Schneider), Michael Hayden (Clifford Bradshaw), Barry James (Herr Schultz), Harriet Thorpe (Fraulein Kost) and Andrew Maud (Ernst Ludwig). The production designed by Katrina Lindsay with choreography by Javier De Frutos, who won an Olivier for his work. It’s produced by Bill Kenwright.

- by Tom Atkins