West End: Triumph für “Joseph” Lee Mead

Andrew Lloyd Webbers “Joseph”-Revival kann als Erfolg abgehakt werden. Am 17. Juli ging im Adelphi Theatre die Premiere über die Bühne - und die Kritiken sind großteils fabelhaft. [Telegraph.co.uk-”First Night Report”-Video, BBC-Bericht mit Link zu einem Videoreport]

Even more cause for scepticism surrounds the «Phantom Lord”’s decision to cast his leading man via yet another reality TV show (BBC’s «Any Dream Will Do”). But, yet again, this seems to have worked: on the whole, Lee Mead delivers a first rate performance. Though not totally convincing as the younger, naà¯ve and rather pompous Joseph - and his rendition of «Close Every Door To Me” lacks perhaps the pathos and vulnerability that the moment requires - still Mead possesses immense stage presence, moves very well, produces a winning smile right on cue and when he sings he is a true vocal powerhouse. [broadwayworld.com]

Rising star Lee Mead has managed to pull off a dream debut in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat despite a nightmare technical hitch at the start of the show. Just six scenes into the opening night of the hit musical with Mead - winner of the BBC’s Any Dream Will Do - playing his first ever West End lead role, the performance ground to a halt.
The audience was told there were “technical difficulties” and had to wait for 10 minutes while the problem - thought to be an issue with the rotating floor - was fixed. But the show must go on, and in time it did, with the audience so impressed at the end that they gave the cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical a standing ovation. [The Press Association Newsdesk]

As it happens, it threw up Lee Mead, who turns out to be both talented and enthusiastic. Not much is asked of him as an actor. He needs to be melancholy when he’s thrown into prison, imperious when he greets the brothers who sold him into slavery, kindly when he forgives them, happy when he’s reconciled with that glum old dodderer, his grieving dad.
All this Mead manages well enough; but what distinguishes him is an attractive singing voice and, coming from beneath hair that owes more to Uncle Esau than father Jacob, lots of affable charisma.
He certainly makes a stronger star than Jason Donovan, whose underpowered, blonde-wigged Joseph in 1991 came across as the Goldilocks of Genesis. The director then was the late Steven Pimlott, and is so now, since this Dreamcoat is a restaging of his production. And I must say, I enjoyed it more last night than I did 16 years ago, even though I’d have liked more rough-theatre simplicity, less ostentatious ado. [Times Online]

Lee Mead, fresh-faced and chubby-thighed in his white loin cloth, is a perfectly decent Joseph; but you feel it didn’t need the ludicrous rigmarole of a TV reality show to discover him since he’d already played Pharaoh in the West End. He also misses the faint element of self-satisfaction in Joseph’s character just as Preeya Kalidas’s leggy Narrator lacks the necessary vocal crispness. [Gurdian Unlimited]

As expected from the most professionally qualified of the contestants of BBC’s star search “Any Dream Will Do,” Mead makes a highly respectable Joseph. He has more charm than charisma, but when it comes to the necessary energy, empathy and, above all, strong voice, Meads delivers. And, to the evident delight of screaming fans, he looks good in a loincloth. [Variety]

Ein Video vom Schlussapplaus schließlich hat der Lord selbst auf seiner Website gepostet. Weitere Kritiken-Clippings sind auf der Website der BBC nachzulesen.


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