“May I return to the beginning”, say the lyrics of famed Joseph song Any Dream Will Do.
And that’s exactly what the producer and choreographer of the new revitalised version of the show, playing in Edinburgh this week, has done.
The tale of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the first ever stage show Gary Lloyd saw, and at the age of fifteen, he even played the titular role.
“As you can imagine getting a chance to work on it and add some new life into such a classic is a dream come true,” he tells The Sunday Post.
“I’m so excited, The Playhouse is a wonderful theatre and Edinburgh is such a magical city. I love how Edinburgh is as renowned as London for loving and welcoming theatre.”
The musical, first devised by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, has enthralled audiences around the world for years, and Gary puts its success down to being a show that everyone can enjoy.
“It really is a family show,” he says. “I have sat with my son who was entranced by the whole thing and heard 90-year-olds laughing at the jokes, and then in between that, you have all the grown ups who know every word from doing it at school.
“It’s always a great atmosphere, a wonderful biblical story and a classic but now has a little modern edge that makes it feel so fresh.”
Having worked in the world of music, with the likes of Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson, John Barrowman, Girls Aloud and Anastasia, Gary has brought a pop element to the newly revived production.
Starring as Joseph is former Union J boyband star Jaymi Hensley, and the rest of the cast have been given bigger roles to play.
“I love playing with the juxtaposition of styles,” he says. “Bringing more cutting edge choreography into Joseph has made the brothers feel more relevant, has brought the Narrator more into the forefront of the action, and having Jaymi’s pop star approach has really given the show a face lift.
“I think that’s what I am known for. When Thriller first came into the West End, the theatre world turned its nose up. Now shows like Jamie and Six are winning awards and getting credible recognition for being commercial and cool.”
To that end, audiences can expect more than just the same old show they’ve seen before.
Gary promises a ‘wonderful’ trip down memory lane but warns: “Don’t get too comfortable, it’s not all as you remember it!”
He adds: “This particular production has been running for 40 years so there is a real foundation that enabled me to layer my work over the top.
“A new production can take months, sometimes years to develop. With Joseph, we had a few weeks.
“I do a lot of pre-production preparation so come into rehearsals with ideas and blocks of staging ready to go.
“It’s always good to leave some space to see what the actors bring and this new cast have been very receptive to that.”
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Edinburgh Playhouse, March 19-23
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