This June, Lee Mead is coming to The London Palladium as part of his 40th birthday celebrations.
Lee Mead: It feels amazing. Even the very thought of me bringing my own show to The London Palladium still hasn’t really sunk in. It’s going to be a really special evening and I couldn’t think of any better way to mark the last 20 years of my career for myself and the fans. For me, it is the greatest theatre in the world. Growing up, I can remember watching the TV specials, the Royal Variety performances and Sunday Night At The London Palladium. One of my favourite clips was the iconic sketch of Bruce Forsyth and Norman Wisdom trying to conduct the orchestra but making them all play out of time. So funny. I never would have thought all those years ago as a young boy walking past The London Palladium just to catch a glimpse, that I would ever bring my show there.
It’s set to be one special show looking back on Lee’s vast musical career.
LM: It’ll be a collection of songs from my career the last 20 years. The musicals I have starred in, songs from my last five albums and some great new covers. Plus, I’ll also be singing a couple of new songs that I have co written with my MD Adam Dennis and singer songwriter Steve Balsamo, who’ll also be one of my guests for the evening. I’ll be supported by a brilliant 12-piece band with a string quartet and brass section so musically, it is going to sound amazing. We have some of the best musicians in the country on the gig.
And it’s quite the difference to Lee’s other work in shows such as Casulty and Holby City.
LM: As much as I love acting for TV, and it does reach a far bigger audience, nothing compares with the rush or the buzz of a live performance. Every audience is unique and no single performance is ever the same. It’s always fascinated me that people from all different walks of life can come together for two hours to experience a story being told. Or just to be taken away from everything and be moved whether it’s to laugh or cry. But to be there present, as it is happening, I don’t think you quite get the same experience as that with TV or film.
And when on stage, is there a favourite song to perform?
LM: It would definitely have to be Any Dream Will Do from Joseph. I must have sung that song over 2000 times and it honestly never grows old for me. Essentially it’s a very simple melody and lyrics but I guess it’s a song of hope, and what we can all become or want to be. The audience love it too. They always sing along which is lovely.
It’s not a surprise since Lee’s start came from the show Any Dream Will Do, where he won the coveted role of Joseph.
LM: I think more than anything, the show has so much heart. It started off as a small piece for a school play, but the lyrics and the music captured the imagination of adults as well as the children. For me, that’s a big part of the success of Tim Rice’s lyrics and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music. It crosses generations. No matter your age, their shows and Joseph in particular, draws you in and touches your soul. You can’t help but sing along and lose yourself in the story of this dreamer that wanted to change the world for the good.
Lee Mead comes to The London Palladium on Thursday 10 June 2021. Get tickets here.