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Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Joseph

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell First Published 6 December 2018, Last Updated 17 December 2018

Far from closing the door and shutting out the lights, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is returning to the West End in June 2019 at The London Palladium.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is all about Joseph, who’s one of 12 brothers. Jealous of the favouritism shown by their father toward Joseph, his brothers betray him and sell him to passing merchants. A family-friendly musical, you’ll witness Joseph go from a low and desperate situation and follow him to greatness as he rises to become the Pharaoh’s right-hand man.

So while we spend the next six months pretending we’re in the cast and re-watching their amazing performance at the Olivier Awards, here’s something to break up the time… trivia about Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

You probably know all the songs, you probably know who the last Joseph was, but did you know the following trivia about our favourite fashionista? (Spoiler alert: We still haven’t figured out how they wash something with so many colours… we’re assuming it’s dry clean only.)


Lee Mead gave up Phantom for Joseph

Well, sort of.

You may recall that Lee Mead was cast in the title role after winning the BBC reality show, Any Dream Will Do. Beating 11 other talented performers (many of whom have gone onto tread the boards as Joseph themselves), Lee wasn’t unknown to the West End when he auditioned for the part. In fact, in order to play Joseph, Lee had to give up his ensemble role in The Phantom Of The Opera, as well as his understudy duties as Raoul.

But the gamble paid off, with Lee getting critical acclaim for his performance, and the show selling out a six-month run within three weeks.


It’s the first Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical to ever be performed

Although the powerful pair did write a musical together pre-Joseph in 1965 (entitled The Likes Of Us), this wasn’t publicly performed until 2005, and they went on to write Joseph together in 1968. This makes Joseph the first ever musical these talented friends created and showcased to the world.

They went on to write four more incredible musicals together – Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cricket and The Wizard Of Oz – which we’re also hoping will make a West End return!


It’s a REALLY popular choice for school productions

Have you ever auditioned for a part in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? Did you have high hopes of wearing the coat, only to be cast within the chorus and just singing “aaaahhhhhhhh” over and over again? Well, you’re not alone.

Since the show began, over 20,000 schools and theatre groups have performed their own productions of the show. That’s a lot of “aaaaahhhhhhhs”!


The first West End showing was at The Noël Coward Theatre 

Noel Coward Theatre London

Although shown in various forms and formats across the UK for several years, in February 1973, theatre producer Michael White took the reins and brought an expanded version of the show to the Noël Coward Theatre. Unsurprisingly, it was incredibly popular, running for 243 performances.

However, there were still major changes to be made, and the first production in its modern, current form was at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester, who showcased the musical for another four years.

Joseph’s next home will, of course, be The London Palladium, which is soon to be the home of the Christmas pantomime classic, Snow White!


It’s record-breaking

Not only does this show break hearts every night, but it’s also broken records too!

Renowned theatre producer Bill Kenwright toured a production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for an unbelievable 12 years (the cast must have been knackered)! In fact, in 2010, the role of Joseph went to Keith Jack, who had come runner-up to Lee Mead a few years before!

Unsurprisingly, they entered The Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running touring stage musical of all time for this achievement. We wonder who will end up toppling their crown?


There’s a LOT of cast albums

Lee Mead At Christmas at the Harold Pinter Theatre

Who doesn’t love singing along to cast albums, pretending you’re in the lead role, taking in all the applause for an imaginary curtain call and practising your closing night speech after several years bossing the role…. (just us?) …

Well, when it comes to Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat there’s certainly plenty of cast albums to choose from! In fact, there are at least 12 different cast recordings from around the world, and that doesn’t even count the numerous single versions of Any Dream Will Do… and there’s A LOT of them…

Now all you need to decide is which Joseph you want to sing with. Are you duetting with Jason Donovan, Donny Osmond, Lee Mead or maybe even a bit of Joe McElderry?


A famous pop star has worked on it

And no, we’re not talking about Joe McElderry again.

Singer and songwriter Sting, who is one of the world’s biggest-selling, award-winning artists with over 100 million sales to his name, has actually worked on a production of Joseph!

Ok, this wasn’t massively recently, but Sting had his early beginnings in music when he played bass for a production in his hometown of Newcastle in the 1970s.


It’s been nominated for over 15 awards

Joseph performance at the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard (Photo: Jeff Spicer)

Joseph has certainly grabbed the attention of both theatre fans and critics alike, and over the years has amounted several big award nominations, including six Tony nominations and seven Olivier Award nominations.

The show has currently only won one Olivier Award for Best Set Designer back in 1992, but who knows what the future will hold!?


It initially only lasted 15 minutes

When the show was first shown at Colet Court School in London, it was just a short 15-minute performance piece. However, Lloyd Webber’s dad was there to watch it and knew it was something special (unsurprisingly he was also a composer). In fact, he persuaded his son to revise and expand the show into a 20-minute performance instead. And from there it developed more and more, and the rest, as they say, is history!


Joe McElderry’s Joseph coat was MASSIVE

A final and third mention for Mr McElderry (he was one of the most recent Josephs to be fair), but did you know that when he took on the title role, his coat spanned 12 metres, cost £10,000 and weighed an incredible 20kg! Who needs to go to the gym when you can just wear a MASSIVE coat?


Feeling all hyped for Joseph now? Tickets go on general sale THIS FRIDAY and you can buy them right here on Official London Theatre!


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andrew lloyd webber bill kenwright joe mcelderry joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat lee mead london palladium Noel Coward Theatre Olivier Awards tim rice

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