Lee Mead

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Lee Mead
Lee Mead.jpg
Mead performing at Andrew Lloyd Webber's Birthday in the Park, September 2008
Background information
Birth name Lee Stephen Mead
Born (1981-07-14) 14 July 1981 (age 33)
Origin Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England
Genres Musical theatre
Occupations Actor, singer
Years active 2004–present
Website http://www.leemead.co.uk/

Lee Stephen Mead (born 14 July 1981) is an English musical theatre and television actor, best known for winning the title role in the 2007 West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through the BBC TV casting show Any Dream Will Do. As well as subsequent West End roles in Wicked, Legally Blonde: The Musical and The West End Men, Mead has pursued a music career, releasing three solo albums and undertaking concert tours in the UK and Japan. In 2014, he joined the cast of BBC drama, Casualty as Nurse Lofty, and is continuing to tour the UK with his band between filming commitments.

Early career[edit]

After studying at performing arts college, Mead gained his first professional stage experience in cabaret as a cruise ship singer on the Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry and then in a summer season at Bridlington Spa Theatre.[1] He moved into musical theatre in 2004, playing both Levi and the Pharaoh[2] in the UK touring production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Following Joseph, Mead performed in the UK tours of Tommy (ensemble and first cover Tommy) and Miss Saigon (ensemble and first cover Chris) before joining the West End production of Phantom of the Opera as an ensemble player and understudy for the role of Raoul.

Any Dream Will Do/Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat[edit]

While performing in The Phantom of the Opera, Mead auditioned for the BBC series Any Dream Will Do, hoping to win a six-month contract playing Joseph in the 2007 West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. From 10,000 initial auditionees, Mead was selected as one of the final 12 potential 'Josephs' who performed live on TV every Saturday night to win the public's vote.

Immediately after he won the final, a single featuring Mead, with fellow Any Dream Will Do finalists Lewis Bradley and Keith Jack, was released in aid of the BBC's annual Children In Need charity appeal. The single, featuring Any Dream Will Do (performed by Mead) and Close Every Door (performed by all three finalists) reached number 2 in the official UK singles chart.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat opened in the West End on 17 July 2007 to generally good reviews: "Lee Mead… turns out to be both talented and enthusiastic… what distinguishes him is an attractive singing voice and, coming from beneath hair that owes more to Uncle Esau than father Jacob, lots of affable charisma… last night’s audience seemed enchanted" wrote Benedict Nightingale in The Times.[3]

"Lee… was a West End star just waiting for a chance to shine… the sight of him in a loincloth almost called for the appearance of the St John Ambulance" wrote Alun Palmer in the Daily Mirror.[4]

"Mead is in excellent form vocally" wrote The Stage's Lisa Martland. His performance of Close Every Door, "encapsulating both tenderness and defiance", was a highlight for her.[5]

After 600 performances in the role, Mead played Joseph for the last time on 10 January 2009.[6]

Post Joseph career[edit]

Following his successful run as Joseph in the West End, Mead took a short course at the famous Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York before taking on his first major play in a UK tour of Lord Arthur Savile's Crime. The play, which was adapted by Trevor Baxter in the style of a tongue-in-cheek Victorian melodrama from a short story by Oscar Wilde, opened at the Theatre Royal Windsor on 12 January 2010 and finished at the Theatre Royal Bath on 24 April 2010. Mead led the cast playing the title role alongside established performers including Gary Wilmot, Kate O'Mara, David Ross and Derren Nesbitt.

Mead went on to appear in the role of Fiyero in the London production of Wicked,[7] from 10 May 2010 to 5 February 2011 opposite Rachel Tucker as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch Of the West and Louise Dearman as Galinda, the Good Witch. Mead was nominated for the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role for this role.[8]

Mead then took over the role of Emmett in Legally Blonde in the West End from 20 June to 8 October 2011. He made his television acting debut in August 2011, guest starring in an episode of Casualty on BBC One as newly employed teaching assistant Harry Timms[9] He also appeared in the second series of the science fiction drama, Bedlam, in the episode entitled "Jude" playing Scott, the brother of the title character, on Sky Living in June 2012.[10] In December 2012, he starred in his first pantomime as the title character "Jack" in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton alongside Julian Clary and Nigel Havers.

Mead returned to the West End in May 2013, starring in The West End Men in concert at the Vaudeville Theatre alongside Matt Willis, Glenn Carter, Stephen Rahman-Hughes and David Thaxton. In December 2013, he starred in his second pantomime as "Robin" in Robin Hood at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. On 1 March 2014, he made his first appearance on TV screens as Nurse Lofty, a new series regular, in the BBC drama series, Casualty. Alongside Casualty, Mead is continuing to tour the UK with his band.

Guest appearances[edit]

Mead has appeared as a guest artist at a range of concerts and events.

Date Concert Notes
1 July 2007 Concert for Diana Performed at a concert in Wembley Stadium, London in honour of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, singing Any Dream Will Do with other former Josephs Donny Osmond and Jason Donovan.
19 August 2007 Andrew Lloyd Webber Gala Performed Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do in a gala concert recorded at the Mermaid Theatre in London for BBC Radio 2.
16 November 2007 Children in Need 2007 Opened the Children in Need 2007 charity event by singing "Any Dream will Do"
25 November 2007 Trillogy at the Movies Performed at the "Trillogy at the Movies" concert in Southend in aid of Children In Need.
18 March 2008 The Prince's Trust Celebrating Success Awards Performed Any Dream Will Do and new single You and Me at an awards ceremony held in the Odeon Leicester Square.
21 June 2008 West End Live, London Performed Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do at West End Live, a free event held each year in Leicester Square, London to give the public a taster of a range of West End shows.
17 August 2008 Lyrics by Don Black Performed Some Of Us Belong To The Stars from the musical Billy (based on the novel Billy Liar), and Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love in a concert at the London Palladium to celebrate the work of lyricist, Don Black.
14 September 2008 Andrew Lloyd Webber 60th Birthday concert. Performed four songs at Birthday In The Park in Hyde Park, London: Love Changes Everything and All I Ask of You; a duet from The Phantom of the Opera with Hayley Westenra; Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do.
5 October 2008 Tribute to Ian Fleming Performed From Russia with Love at a concert in the London Palladium in honour of the creator of James Bond.
29 March 2009 Australia Flood and Fire Benefit. Performed Nothing Else Matters from his second album at the Palace Theatre, London
10 May 2009 Rhydian Roberts Concert Appeared as a guest star at Rhydian Roberts' concert in the Bristol Hippodrome, singing You Raise Me Up with Rhydian.
17 September 2009 Longleat Safari Park Duetted with Hayley Westenra at an event organised by Terry Wogan fans in aid of Children In Need.[11]
25 October 2009 Royal Albert Hall Performed at the Helping the Heart of Music concert in aid of the PRS for Music Members Benevolent Fund, singing two Marc Bolan songs.
24 November 2008 An Audience with Tim Rice. Performed six songs at this event in Monaco, including four solos: Any Dream Will Do"; Anthem from the musical Chess; A Winter's Tale;and Heaven on Their Minds from Jesus Christ Superstar as well as two duets, Can You Feel The Love Tonight and A Whole New World with Emma Munro-Wilson.
10 December 2009 Lincoln Cathedral Headlined the Spirit of Christmas concert in aid of the Muscular Dystrophy campaign.
21 December 2009 Barbican Centre, London Performed with Hayley Westenra in her Christmas Concert at the Barbican Centre.
3 October 2010 (broadcast 24 December 2010) Hackney Empire A Handful Of Songs: A Tribute to Lionel Bart. Performed two songs, 'From Russia With Love' and 'Do You Mind' by Lionel Bart
10 October 2010 Apollo Victoria Apollo Victoria's 80th Birthday Concert
4 March 2011 Trafalgar Studios 2 Guest at Daniel Boys Cabaret
18 June 2011 West End Live, London Made his debut as Emmett from Legally Blonde: The Musical at West End Live 2011, a free annual event showcasing the best of London theatre, performing 'Chip On My Shoulder' with Carley Stenson as Elle
28 June 2012 A Tribute to Irving Berlin, Watford Appearing at a BBC Radio 2 'Friday Night Is Music Concert' devoted to the songs of Irving Berlin at the Watford Colosseum.
6 July 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Event Singing a new song especially composed for the occasion at an Olympic Torch Relay event in Chelmsford.

Concerts[edit]

UK and Ireland[edit]

Mead undertook his first solo concert in his home town of Southend in May 2010 and continued to tour the UK and Ireland during 2010 and 2011 with his own band. A second tour, The Love Tour, followed in February 2012 to coincide with the release of his third album, 'Love Songs'. In the summer of 2012, Mead joined forces with Stephen Rahman-Hughes and Matt Rawle to tour as the West End Men, supported by special guest, Kerry Ellis. A further short tour with the West End Men followed in November 2012 with Ramin Karimloo replacing Matt Rawle in the line-up. Mead also starred in a month-long run of the West End Men from May to June 2013 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. Mead's next planned gigs include a series of concerts at UK venues, kicking off at the Sherman Cymru Theatre in Cardiff on 4 May 2014.

Year Tour
2010/11 An Evening With Lee Mead 2010 concerts: Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea (23 May 2010); The Anvil, Basingstoke (13 June 2010); Alban Arena, St Albans (27 June 2010); Embassy Theatre, Skegness (25 July 2010); Grimsby Auditorium (22 August 2010); Buxton Opera House (12 September 2010); Leeds Town Hall (17 October 2010); Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (7 November 2010); New Wimbledon Theatre (14 November 2010); Derngate Theatre, Northampton (3 December 2010); Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (4 December 2010) and Coliseum Theatre, London (19 December 2010). 2011 concerts: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (6 February); Hawth Theatre, Crawley (19 February 2011); The Sage, Gateshead (22 February); Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (23 February); De Montfort Hall, Leicester (25 February); Venue Cymru, Llandudno (27 February 2011); ending in Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (12 March). Following the tour, there were further solo concerts in National Concert Hall, Dublin (31 March 2011) with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Kilworth House Theatre (16 July 2011), The Forum, Bath (5 November 2011) and Barbican Hall, London (22 December 2011).
Year Tour
2012 The Love Tour Pavilion Theatre (Bournemouth) (11 February); Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (12 February); Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea (14 February); St David's Hall, Cardiff (19 February); Colston Hall, Bristol (23 February); Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (24 February); Symphony Hall, Birmingham (26 February). A further concert, 'An Evening With Lee Mead' was held at the Assembly Hall, Worthing (10 March).
Year Tour
2012/13 West End Men Fort Regent, Jersey (14 July 2012); G Live, Guildford (18 July 2012); Beau Sejour, Guernsey (28 & 29 July 2012); Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (14 November 2012); The Sage, Gateshead (20 November 2012) and De Montfort Hall, Leicester (23 November 2012) and Vaudeville Theatre, London (25 May - 22 June 2013)
Year Tour
2013/14 Lee Mead in Concert 2013 dates: The Pheasantry, Chelsea, London (14-17 and 19 August); Villa Marina, Isle of Man (23 August); Forum 28, Barrow in Furness (15 September); Shanklin Theatre, Isle of Wight (24 September); The Platform, Morecambe (26 September); Camberley Theatre, Camberley (27 September); Civic Hall, Bedworth (28 September); and Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham (29 September).

2014 dates: Sherman Cymru, Cardiff (4 May); Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple, North Devon (1 June); Octagon Theatre, Yeovil, Somerset (29 June); Beck Theatre, Hayes, Middlesex (20 July); Capitol Theatre, Horsham, West Sussex (10 August); G Live, Guildford (13 August); Theatr Hafren, Newtown, Wales (20 September); Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, Essex (5 October); Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales (2 November); Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, Bucks (12 November); West Cliff Theatre, Clacton, Essex (16 November); and Garrick Theatre, London (7 December - Christmas show).

Japan[edit]

Mead completed his first international concert tour of Japan in December 2011.

Year Tour
2011 Tomomi Nishimoto Christmas Adagio Mead toured Japan in December 2011 in concert with Sojung Lee also a vocalist. Civic Cultural Centre Muse, Tokorozawa (3 December); Suntory Hall, Minato-ku, Tokyo (4 December); Mihara Performing Arts Centre "Popolo", Hiroshima (6 December); Aichi Prefectural Arts Theatre, Nagoya (8 December); The Symphony Hall, Osaka (9 December); Alpha Anabuki Hall, Kagawa (10 December); Minato Mirai Hall, Yokohama (11 December); Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara, Sapporo (15 December); City Cultural Hall, Aomori (17 December); Opera City Concert Hall, Tokyo (18 December)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Title Notes
1 October 2007 Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat Mead's version of Any Dream Will Do was added to a special edition re-release of the 1991 London Palladium cast recording.
19 November 2007 Lee Mead Mead's debut solo album achieved double gold status.
5 May 2008 Three and Out Mead features on two songs on the Three and Out soundtrack, You've Got A Friend and Somebody Help Me.
6 October 2008 Andrew Lloyd Webber 60 Mead's version of Any Dream Will Do features on this triple CD album of the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
23 February 2009 Connie Fisher- Secret Love Mead duets with Connie Fisher, winner of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, singing Next Time You Fall In Love from the musical Starlight Express.
9 March 2009 Nothing Else Matters Mead's second solo album includes a mixture of covers and new songs, including some co-writes, and a duet of When The Stars Go Blue with Hayley Westenra.
9 November 2009 Bandaged Together Mead appears on this double album, duetting with Hayley Westenra and the TOGS Chorus on We All Stand Together as well as singing All You Need Is Love. This charity album consists of a mixture of nostalgic and children's songs from years gone by.
13 February 2012 Love Songs Mead's third solo album is, as the cover states, dedicated to different Love Songs. It includes moving covers of Falling Slowly, Hallelujah, Fix You and She.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Title
18 June 2007 Any Dream Will Do #2 single.
3 December 2007 Gonna Make You A Star
10 March 2008 "You And Me"
7 November 2009 We Will Remember Them (Help For Heroes)
9 November 2009 All You Need Is Love (Children In Need)

Awards[edit]

Year Award
19 September 2007 Rear of the Year accolade.
16 October 2007 lastminute.com People's Choice Theatre Award for Favourite Theatre Actor.
18 November 2007 Variety Club Award for "Outstanding New Talent."
8 December 2007 TV Times award for "Favourite Newcomer"
15 April 2008 Gold disc for debut album "Lee Mead."

Charities[edit]

Mead is patron of The Mushroom Theatre Company's charity Equal People which is based in Rayleigh, Essex and aims to bring able-bodied and disabled people together to socialise and perform.[12]

He also was ambassador of Vodafone's 2008 Cut It Out Campaign in 2008 which aimed to reduce bullying.[13] The campaign worked alongside the West End stage production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Children were invited to design their own 'dreamcoat' and the winning entries were then worn on stage by Mead during Anti-Bullying week.[14]

Mead has also supported a number of other charities, including the PRS for Music Members Benevolent Fund; Help for Heroes; Children in Need; Great Ormond Street Hospital and baby charity, Tommy's.

Personal life[edit]

Mead was born in Southend-on-Sea to Joan (née Horning) and Stephen Mead. He has one brother, Casey Michael Mead, who is four years younger.

In November 2007, Mead began dating Any Dream Will Do judge, Denise van Outen,.[15] The couple announced their engagement on 29 January 2009[16] and married in the Seychelles in April 2009.[17] Their daughter was born on 1 May 2010, with one official photo released to publications in exchange for donations to The Louis Dundas Centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.[18] In July 2013 the couple released a joint statement stating that they had split but remained good friends.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dessau, Bruce (15 January 2010). "After Joseph Lee Mead turns to Oscar Wilde". The Times (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  2. ^ JOSEPH and the Amazing TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
  3. ^ Nightingale, Benedict (18 July 2007). "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The Times (London: News International). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Palmer, Alun (18 July 2007). "Lee proves he's a winner". Daily Mirror (London: Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 July 2008. "Last night he grasped his prize with both hands as he went on stage in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. […] When the 25-year-old began singing Any Dream Will Do, this became a celebration of his TV triumph." 
  5. ^ Martland, Lisa (18 July 2007). "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". The Stage (London). Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  6. ^ AndrewLloydWebber.com
  7. ^ "Wicked proudly welcomes Lee Mead" (Press release). Wicked London Production Ltd. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2010. "Wicked... welcomes Lee Mead to the cast as Fiyero from today (10 May 2010)." 
  8. ^ "Whatsonstage.com Awards Nominees Announced". Whatsonstage.com. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Casualty – Starting Out BBC
  10. ^ "Lee Mead joins Bedlam". The List. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Bandaged
  12. ^ "About Us". Equal People. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  13. ^ Threepipe, Public Relations Agency
  14. ^ Stacey, Alison (12 September 2008). "Anti-bullying campaign in the West End". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Sara Nathan (12 January 2008). "My dreamboat in a dreamcoat". London: The Sun. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  16. ^ Nathan, Sara (29 January 2009). "Denise to wed Joseph idol Lee". The Sun (London). 
  17. ^ "Wedding". Daily Mail (London). 29 April 2009. 
  18. ^ Nathan, Sara (6 May 2010). "Proud parents Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead introduce baby Betsy to the world". Daily Mail (London). 
  19. ^ "Denise Van Outen and Lee Mead confirm their split after four years of marriage". Dailymail.co.uk. 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 

External links[edit]