Who has played Joseph in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'
We’re taking a look back at actors that have donned the coat of many colours as Joseph in Joseph in the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in London and beyond.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat dramatises the story as told in the Book of Genesis, following Joseph, a prophesising brother who is sold into slavery. Its title character is an iconic role in musical theatre, singing anthems including “Any Dream Will Do”. We’re taking a look back at actors that have donned the coat of many colours as Joseph in Joseph in the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in London and beyond.
The actors listed below are just some of the biggest names to have played Joseph in the West End.
Jason Donovan made his West End debut in 1991, playing the title role at the London Palladium. The cast album, led by Donovan, went straight to the top of the charts. In fact, his rendition of “Any Dream Will Do” was one of the best-selling singles in June 1991. Donovan received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance, and Joseph began his West End career, later starring in revivals of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2019, Donovan returned to Joseph, playing the Pharaoh. He’ll reprise the role in 2021.
Lee Mead won the BBC reality television show “Any Dream Will Do”, a competition which set out to find the actor who’d play Joseph in the 2007 London revival. Lee Mead played the role for 18 months at the Adelphi Theatre. Since hanging up his coat, Mead has starred in Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Legally Blonde and has also released three solo albums.
2010 X Factor winner Joe McElderry assumed the role of Joseph for a 2016 nationwide tour. Previously, he’d starred in Dirty Dancing and The Who’s Tommy. McElderry has released five studio albums, including his number one single “The Climb”. More recently, he has starred in the WHAM jukebox musical, Club Tropicana.
Donny Osmond is considered to be “the” Joseph by many, as he played the role in the 1999 film. With over 2,000 performances from 1992 -1997 as Joseph under his belt, Osmond cut time on his charismatic performance to star in a religious show with his family. However, Joseph saw Osmond break into the musical theatre world, later going on to play Gaston in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. A brand new musical based on the life of the Osmond family will open in 2021, with performances at the New Wimbledon Theatre.
You may know Phillip Schofield as a television presenter, but he’s a West End actor too. Schofield took over the role of Joseph from Jason Donovan and wore the multicoloured coat for one night only in 2018. He’s said he’d love to return to the theatre one day. Keep your eyes peeled!
Since finding fame as the runner-up on the first series of Pop Idol, Gareth Gates has enjoyed a successful musical theatre career. In 2009, Gates made his West End debut as Joseph, playing the role for three months at the Adelphi Theatre. Soon after, it was announced he would join the international touring cast of Les Miserables as Marius, later reprising the role in the West End. He has also starred in national touring productions of Boogie Nights, Legally Blonde and Footloose.
Ian ‘H’ Watkins
Best known as a member of chart-topping UK band Steps, Ian ‘H’ Watkins made his theatrical debut in 2004 in Joseph. Since his West End debut 15 years ago, he has gone on to reprise the role in 2013 on a national tour, as well as star in the 2007 West End revival of Fame.
Yarrow made his West End debut in 2019, after being scouted for the role while in his final year of professional training. Critics praised his performance, hailing Yarrow a “stand out-star… a bright sincerity and polished vocals to draw the audience's eyes and ears to him whenever he is centre stage.”
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