Our top Josephs in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Returning to the West End in 2020, the upcoming revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will mark 51 years since the concept album was first recorded. We take a look at some of the best actors to have previously played the lead role across stage and screen. Once you’ve read about all the actors to have donned the technicolor dreamcoat, let us know who your favourite actor is by casting your vote for your favourite Joseph at the end of the article.
Who is the best Joseph?
Joseph stormed back into the West End in 1991, with Jason Donovan cast in the lead role. With the cast album showing off his vocal ability, the album went to number one, with his performance of “Any Dream Will Do” one of the best-selling singles in June 1991. Donovan received an Olivier Award nomination for his performance, later starring in West End productions revivals including Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Jason Donovan will return to the London Palladium to star as the Pharaoh in the 2020 production of Joseph at the London Palladium, alongside Jac Yarrow in the titular role.
Winning the BBC television show “Any Dream Will Do” that set out to find the next West End Joseph, Lee Mead played the role for 18 months. Prior to this, he’d starred in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, as well as touring productions of Joseph across the country. Since hanging up his coat, Mead has starred in Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and has also released three solo albums.
2010 X Factor winner Joe McElderry played the role in 2016 on a nationwide tour, with reviews praising his performance. With a number one single and five studio albums, McElderry has ventured into musical theatre starring in shows including Tommy and Club Tropicana, with Club Tropicana currently on a nationwide tour.
First playing the role in the 1992 North American production of Joseph, Donny Osmond is considered to be “the” Joseph by many, playing the role in the 1999 film adaptation. With over 2,000 performances as Joseph under his belt, Osmond cut time on his charismatic performance in 1997 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.
The television presenter’s West End debut came in the early 1990s, with Schofield taking over the role of Joseph from Jason Donovan. Stating that he would love to return to the theatre if his television career ended, he wore the coat of many colours once more in a segment on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in 2018. With such a busy schedule, Schofield has only starred in one production since Joseph, playing the title role in Doctor Doolittle at the Hammersmith Apollo.
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.