Joe to star as Joseph in Corn Exchange musical

Joe McElderry stars in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Joe McElderry stars in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
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X Factor winner Joe McElderry gets set to put on the dazzling coat of many colours as he steps into the title role in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which is coming to King’s Lynn Corn Exchange in March.

This vibrant and exciting retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colours sings out to young and old alike, with a score crammed wall to wall with hits, including Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do.

Bill Kenwright’s sparkling family musical has sold an estimated 20 million tickets since its inception 35 years ago and now West Norfolk audiences will add to that figure during its five-night run.

As well as winning the sixth series of the show, McElderry also claimed first place in ITV’s Popstar to Operastar before slaloming his way to become champion of Channel 4’s celebrity ski competition The Jump in 2014.

Joseph marks Joe’s first major theatrical appearance following a one-off West End gala performance as the lead in The Who’s Tommy in 2012.

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is staged from Tuesday, March 15, to Saturday, March 19; tickets £18 to £30.50 with concessions and group discounts available. Call the box office on 01553 764864 or visit www.kingslynn cornexchange.co.uk for more details and performance times.

In a special question-and-answer interview, Joe McElderry provides an insight into the production:

Joe, how did you got involved with the show and what was it about the part that attracted you to it?

It was last summer and Bill Kenwright came to me and asked me if I was interested and it all went from there really and here we are! It’s such an iconic role, everybody knows it and the nice thing about it is, and this is just from talking to people, it’s seems to be a lot of people’s first experience of musical theatre.

A lot of people have told me it was the first musical they saw as a kid. And it passes down the generations. Out of all of the things I’ve done in the last few years, there’s a real buzz around this. I’ve never had so many people tell me how excited they are that I’m going to be Joseph, so that’s really nice.

So you were familiar with the show when the offer came up, have you seen any previous productions?

I saw it a couple of years back with H from Steps and he was great. I wasn’t that familiar with the show when I saw it and when this came up, I had forgotten it but as soon as I heard the songs again, I remembered and I am more than familiar with it now.

The good thing about it is that it’s all songs and I’m used to learning songs very quickly so I’m not too panicked. Even the colours – I’ve done it!

Philip Schofield, Jason Donovan, Donny Osmond have all starred as Joseph, you’ve got some big shoes to fill!

I am feeling the pressure a little bit because it’s such a famous role, that’s the thing about it. And people have a big attachment to the show, people who have seen it many times before, they have certain expectations. So I am a little anxious, but I always get like this before I do a show, whether this or this X Factor or even my own tour, but then once I get into rehearsals I’m fine.

It’s before that that I get a little apprehensive because I don’t know what to expect. But once I get told where to stand and what to do and when to sing, I’m absolutely fine.

Have you already got a favourite song?

I love Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do of course. I also love Pharaoh’s Dream Explained, I enjoy singing that, it’s quite bouncy.

Winning the X Factor in 2009, it’s what most people will know you from – is it a badge you still wear proudly?

The thing with the show is, and I know it’s had a bit of a decline recently and people have been slating it in recent years, but without the profile it gave me, a lot of the things that I have done, including Joseph, probably wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the X Factor.

The X Factor led to one thing, which led to another, which led to another, so I’m glad I was able to be a part of such a big show. Because I think it is an iconic show and it’ll probably go down in British TV history as one of the biggest watched shows in the country. So I’m proud to say that I did and I was a part of it and I won it!

Do you think being cast as Joseph has taken people by surprise then?

I thought people would have been quite shocked but everyone has been telling me how perfect I am for the role, and that they’ve been telling me for years to do this (laughs). But that might just be because I’m called Joseph (laughs).

Are you still in touch with anyone from the X Factor?

Oh yeah. I mean, we’re not on the phone to each other every day but we see each other every now and then. And in this industry you bump into people all the time at events and parties. And I do hear from Cheryl (Fernandez-Versini – who mentored Joe on the X Factor), we have kept in touch, and while we don’t speak on the phone all the time, it’s nice that we’ve managed to keep the relationship.

We’re from the same neck of the woods after all, opposite sides of the river, but same part of the world.

You’re on the road with Joseph until July, but you’re used to that, having toured both with X Factor Live and your own concerts – how do you find being on the road?

I find that the first two weeks on the road are a bit out of sync because your body is all over the place just trying to get into some sort of routine. Certainly when I do my shows it takes a good couple of weeks for your voice to settle into the material. But then after a while it just becomes second nature and then your body just goes with it and you find your routine.

The nice thing about Joseph is, I’m normally in a different place every night, which is exhausting. But with this show, we’re in places for a week so that allows you to settle for a bit, you’re not getting up at 8am the morning after a late show to do a six-hour drive on the bus to the next venue. And also, there are breathers in this.

When I do my shows, I’m normally on stage for a couple of hours with no break, but with this, although I have some big numbers, I’ll have moments when I’m off stage to take a breath, get myself together before the next scene, give myself a slap (laughs) and then I’m back on!