October 26th, 2008

Actors inventing more history

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

On the train into central London on Friday, I started reading one of this week's library book collection, Charlotte Brontë's The Foundling. It's a work of juvenalia, written when she was seventeen, in which wacky, silly, and improbably lucky things happen at a fast clip. The hero goes off to foreign land, looking for his fortune, when he's suddenly imprisoned for not knowing the customs. He's kept locked up for what feels like a long time (15 days) until he's suddenly released with great fortune succeeding to him.

So then, not very far along in the book, I arrived in central London, met up with C. and M. for dinner and a long-awaited trip to see Lee Mead, winner of last year's Any Dream will Do, perform the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Lloyd Webber was seventeen when he first hooked up with collaborator Tim Rice, and three years later, Joseph was first staged. It's a wacky, silly musical about an improbably lucky guy who goes off to foreign lands (albeit having been sold into slavery by brothers who couldn't stand his happy-go-luckiness), where he's suddenly imprisoned for not fitting in with expectations. He's kept locked up for what feels like a long time until he's suddenly released with great fortune succeeding to him.

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