Monday 2nd July ~ Lee Mead Joseph / The Passport, and the Pendulum


Peter Lawrence (Jacob) Gary Martin (Pharaoh) Sian Evans (Mrs Potiphar) Karen King (dancer) Jackie Marks (Narrator)

So I turned on the TV and there was Lee! Lee used to be the Pharaoh in our tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. But could this handsome young performer, with all of the attributes of a ‘star to be’ be really ‘our Lee’ – yes, of course it was. It was just that seeing him in the ‘promo’ of Any Dream Will Do, made him somehow extra-special.

There is a sort of conceptual phenomena that happens when someone becomes famous. It is as though they grow in the reflection of the power that the public gives them – as if the desire of the public, makes them special and in some way more than they are.

Now don’t get me wrong. Lee is one of the nicest people I have worked with, is just as handsome as you see on the screen and has a voice to die for. Nothing you have heard so far, shows the range and the sheer power of that young man’s voice. It’s just that he will soon become more of a modern demi-god than just a really nice, talented guy. I expect everyone from Elvis to Robbie Williams has experienced what it is to become an icon.

But then, what do we all do when we have built an icon? We demolish it of course – or try to. Perhaps an inbuilt envy comes into play –

Q: How many theatricals does it take to change a lightbulb?

A= Ten. One to screw in the bulb and nine to stand around and say “I could have done that!”

(most couldn’t do what Lee does – Good Luck Mate!)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a total phenomena. I have been working on it, since around 1977, and I really do think it is impossible to ‘date’ it.

It has the combination of the most spiritual lyrics (thanks Tim Rice) and the most infectious tunes (thanks ALW). Look at the lyric below from Any Dream Will Do – It could be the motto of every clairvoyant:

“I closed my eyes

Drew back the curtain

To see for certain

What I thought I knew”

But then, nobody listens to the lyrics of a pop-song. Do they?


The Passport and the Pendulum

It’s difficult to keep things together on tour. When I pack things away at the end of the week and if I’m not careful, things go into my car and are not seen again for several months. Equally, if I put a newspaper down by my armchair, it will have been joined in a few hours, by a coffee-mug, two restaurant bills, a taxi receipt and an application to join the local Conservative party, (together with an old sweet, a pair of broken reading glasses with a piece of wire to hold them on, a bar of soap and a piece of string. I’m not kidding because I’ve just looked beside my arm-chair – and it’s true!)

Anyway – what I’m leading up to, is my forthcoming trip to the States. I’m going over there to choreograph and co-direct a musical. (I’ll let you know what is, when I know I can tell you what it is!)

“Can you send me a copy of your passport” quoth the on-line producer.

“Of course” I replied, with an uneasy feeling that my passport might have got (sorry America) ‘gotten’ mislaid.

Well, I spent around a day and a half, looking for my key to the greater world, but to no avail. I tried my grey suitcase first, where I keep most of my ‘papers’ but no luck. Then I emptied every draw and cupboard in the house – but the passport remained hidden.

The next stage was to empty the car. Books, clothes, lists, more pieces of string and endless black bin liners, full of letters, disposable razors, nail clippers – I found three, but I can never find one when I need to cut my nails. Alas, no passport was to be found amongst the rubble.

In times of trouble, I go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea or coffee…

I was standing looking out of the kitchen window, when AndyM gave me a call. “So why don’t you use ‘divining’ for it?” said Andy. Andy went onto describe his divining skills:

“I get two metal coat hangers and straighten them out. Then I bend one end of each one in an L shape and holding them in both fists, I walk around the garden with them; when they move together, I know that something is below ground that my body reacts to.”

Andy’s contention was that we may be sensitive to different things; some people would detect metal (coins – even nailclippers!) and others would detect water. I went on to explain to Andy that I had done this for years, with a crystal pendulum, but that (guess what) I had not seen it for months and had no idea where it was…

After Andy’s call and another cup of coffee, I went back to work. There were still a couple of bin-liners in the car, so I went to get them. As I was struggling through the front door with the second one, I head a ‘clink-thud’ behind me.

My long lost pendulum had fallen out of the bin-liner and was glistening on the front door step! I smiled as I picked it up and went back into the house…

I tried the front room first. “Is my passport here?” I said out-loud, holding the pendulum over a heap of papers. The pendulum seemed to think for a moment and then swung in an anti-clockwise directed – no luck there.

The next port of call was the middle room. “Is my passport here?” produced the same response, no matter what pile of ‘rubbish’ I held it over. At last there was only the grey suitcase that I had searched through first, a day and a half before. “Is my passport here?” I intoned, with a sinking feeling. The pendulum swung clockwise for the first time.

Yes, it was there!

‘till the next time


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