NORMAL service is resumed after my annual fortnight covering Wimbledon.
So it was off last night to the Adelphi Theatre in London to check out Lee Mead in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The winner of BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do was simply sensational at what was just the third preview show.
I’ve seen West End audiences go wild on plenty of occasions over the years.
The real Maria von Trapp walking on to stage on the opening night of a 1981 production of The Sound of Music comes to mind.
I also saw the classic 1990s London Palladium production of Joseph and the touring version at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.
But the ecstatic standing ovation Lee and the rest of the cast earned last night from an electrified audience was something else.
It’s not the done thing to review a show before opening press night, which is a week today.
Even so, as I paid the price of several camels and a herd of goats for the tickets and interval drinks, I’ll venture a few comments.
It’s a cliché, but true all the same. With great stage presence and a powerful voice, this is a role Lee, 25, was born to play.
His huge grin at the end as the theatre erupted, yet again, with excitement said it all.
Aside from Lee, several members of cast also caught the eye.
In particular former Bombay Dreams and Bodies star Preeya Kalidas as the Narrator, Dean Collinson as Pharaoh and Neal Wright as Judah.
As it’s a new staging of the London Palladium production, fans who saw that won’t notice a great deal of difference in the show itself.
But there are a few changes here and there, and a new or revived number – King Of My Heart – sung by the, as usual, Elvis-inspired Pharoah.
This Joseph is pure entertainment from start to finish.
And if the show is this good at just the third performance, the Adelphi roof may well blow off on opening night.
Tickets are sold out for months to come but the production is now booking until June 7th 2008.
My advice, I’m afraid, is entirely predictable:
Go, go, go.
Any Dream Will Do
The Hills Are Alive
Joseph Official Site
Joseph Musical Numbers