The finalists include a builder, an office administrator and a supermarket worker. This is the format that discovered tele-sales worker Connie Fisher for the lead role in The Sound of Music (via the TV show "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?")
Over the next eight weeks, the 12 West End wannabes will perform in the presence of Lloyd Webber and his panel of experts - Broadway and West End leading lady Denise Van Outen, theatre producer Bill Kenwright, John Barrowman (Anything Goes) and vocal coach Zoe Tyler - to prove that they have the charisma and star quality to win one of the best-known roles in musical theatre.
The following is the list of finalists. Student Antony Hansen, 17; student Ben Ellis, 18; Chris Barton, 19, studying Musical Theatre at Liverpool Theatre College; sales assistant Chris Crosby, 18; Craig Chalmers, a singer for a male strip act, 25; acting school graduate and cement administrator Daniel Boys, 27; office worker Johndeep More, 23; supermarket assistant Keith Jack, 19; cabaret and cruise ship entertainer Lee Mead, 25; student Lewis Bradley, 17; builder Robert McVeigh, 23; American-born and London-based IT worker Seamus Cullen, 35.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will open at London's Adelphi Theatre July 17 following previews from July 6.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice's (lyrics) musical follows the biblical tale of the title character who is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Joseph played on Broadway in 1982 with Bill Hutton as Joseph and Laurie Beechman as the Narrator. It was then revived in 1993 with Michael Damian and Kelli Rabke in those roles.
In 1967 the show originally took the form of a 20-minute piece composed for Colet Court St. Paul's Junior School. The forthcoming West End version revives Steven Pimlott's London Palladium production, with design by Mark Thompson and choreography by Anthony Van Laast.
The production replaces Evita, another Rice/Lloyd-Webber musical, which finishes its run May 26.
For more on Joseph, which is booking until Jan. 5, 2008, call (0)870 895 5598.