“How does the coat work?!”

Gareth Gates and Lee Mead

Gareth Gates was finally announced as Lee Mead’s successor in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat this morning (finally dispelling that oh-so-convincing Gethin Jones rumour) and it has to be said that he looked just a little nervous.

As he was symbolically handed the coat in front of the press, the photographers urged him to hold out the coat so that the ‘many colours’ would be displayed. That, unfortunately, just had him grasping at random bits of material until finally turning to the wings and asking “how does the coat work?!”

Of course, he has every right to be a little apprehensive about the prospect of going into Joseph, considering the workload he is faced with over the next couple of months. Although this will be Gareth’s first regular musical role (after appearing in the Stiles & Drewe gala earlier this year), he will have to get to grips with the show at the same time as performing in Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre twelve times a week. And on top of that, he and his wife, the choreographer Suzanne Mole are expecting a baby in April…

You get the feeling, though, that rehearsing and performing the show will be a labour of love for Gareth, as — just like his predecessor Lee Mead — it was the first show he was ever involved in as a child, and in fact cites it as the moment he realised he could sing. He said today that “it is an honour to be asked to play this part” and visibly lit up when talking about putting the coat on for the first time — which, as was pretty clear, really was on stage just a few minutes earlier.

He also said that, now that he’s actually allowed to talk about landing the role, he will certainly be turning to Will Young (who acted in Noel Coward’s The Vortex) for some tips, and that he’s exchanged numbers with Lee Mead.

As for the outgoing Joseph, Lee certainly has rather a lot of fans (our lovely Loppies included) who’ll be sorry not to be able to experience the Loin Cloth Moment many more times before he leaves the show in the New Year. Not that they should be concerned; I don’t think that Lee will be falling off the theatre radar anytime soon.

The most prevalent rumour concering Mr Mead doing the rounds at the moment is that he’ll be starring in a UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s other Bible-led rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, in 2009. As yet, nothing has been confirmed, but anyone who saw his performance of the titular track during the final of Any Dream Will Do? will know that he’s certainly up to the task.

Lee leaves Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat on 10th January, but — probably much to Gareth’s relief — understudy Ricky Rojas will be performing the role for a month until Gareth joins the cast. Plenty of time to perfect his coat technique, then…

20 Comments

This is wonderful news. Gareth will do himself and his fans proud! Well done Gareth!

So, whats the betting we might get to see John Barrowman play Judas in a revamp of JCST? Though I'm not sure he can reach those high notes.

Anna,- thank you for the update on what happened.
To quote a song from Joseph: "There is one more tear in my eye", (well, actually many tears!) to see Lee go to other things, we do wish Gareth luck in the new role. Will he look good in a loincloth?
As I am one of "the lovely Loppies" (thank you!)it's looks wrong to see Gareth in Lee's (OK Joseph's) coat. I'm sure Gareth will have his own fans filling the seats.

Just wanted to wish Lee all the best in all his future endevors. And good luck to Gareth in the role. Hope it brings back lots of good childhood memories.

God bless to everyone :)

I loved Lee in Joseph, but it's time for him to do something new and I'm delighted they got someone decent to replace him.

Good luck Gareth! It's a great show.

Sad that Lee is leaving Joseph, but good luck Gareth.

And thank you Anna for your report (another of the 'lovely loppies')

Thank you Anna for the report. Very odd seeing GG in 'the' coat. I can see him doing very well in the role. Don't think I'll being seeing him, I do wish him well with it. It will be sad to see Lee leave, good too, new opportunities for him.
Another 'lovely' Loppy posting, as if you hadn't guessed.

Thank you Anna, an end to the speculation as to who is taking over from Lee.
I wish Gareth lots of luck in the role, he's got a great voice.
Like other Loppies, I too will be very sad to see Lee go but looking forward to hearing what his next role will be - safe to say you'll be taking us Loppies with you Lee!

XX

Thank you Anna for your report. Boy is it odd to see someone else than Lee with the coat . A very sad day for us loppies but I wish Gareth all the best as I think he is a good choice. And like all the other loppies looking forwards to Lee's new ventures and hope that JCS will become a reality for him.
xxx

Hope the JCSS rumour is true - Lee would make a superb Jesus & it would give him more oppurtunity to show that emotional depth that we saw on TV in "Any Dream will do"

Think Gareth is good choice. Wish him lots of luck.

Another Loppy here to wish Gareth all the best as Joseph.
I am looking forward to seeing Lee in his next roles, whatever they are.

I have seen this show 4 times but sadly not with Lee as Joseph, but from all accounts he made a really good job of it.

I think Gareth will make a fab Joseph, his beautiful voice is really suited to the part.Well worth a trip to the capital in my view.

I'd like to wish Gareth all the best as Joseph.

I am thrilled about Gareth Gates taking the role as Joseph.
Think he will be great, oh all those lovely songs,his voice ,his looks ,the loin cloth just cant wait to see him

Good luck Gareth

So pleased That Gareth is taking over from Lee a worthy successor. Best wishes to Lee in his future roles.Life Villanova

Really pleased Gareth is to succeed Lee a worthy successor. Best wishes to lee in his future roles.

I wish Lee soccess in whatever he does next! Well done Gareth for getting the role! He will be an amazing Joseph, and he has such a beautiful voice!

I would like to wish Lee all the best for the future.Well done Gareth for getting this amazing role,i am sure you will make a great Joseph.

congratulations to gareth for getting the role of the new joseph so very proud of him he will be brilliant.good luck to lee in his future things he was a brill joseph.

Congratulations to Gareth landing the role of Joseph. He will be fantastic and can't wait to see the show.

Im soo pleased that the one and only Mr Gates is taking over as Joseph. He is going to live his childhood dream and I know he will make a fantastic Joseph!!

Good Luck Gareth - you will be amazing!!

Also, good luck to Lee in new projects that come his way!

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