New Zealander Glen Drake takes the lead role when one of the most popular musicals
of all time visits the Hall for Cornwall this month.
Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is at the Hall between Monday,
August 20, and Saturday, August 25. The show, produced by Bill Kenwright, has
already been described as "amazing" and "first class" by reviewers.
For Glen, it also marks his UK debut after nine years as a professional performer in
New Zealand, treading the boards as an actor in roles ranging from Shakespeare's
Hamlet to Sick Boy in a stage production of Trainspotting . He also spent two years in
Shortland Street , New Zealand's top soap opera, and has appeared in hit American TV
series, including Hercules, The Legendary Journeys .
Talking to The West Briton as he travelled between venues, Glen explained that he had
also appeared as Joseph in his home country. He said: "I did a New Zealand tour of the
show and I heard that they were looking for another Joseph over here, so I thought
this was an opportunity to come to the UK."
Glen went almost straight into touring in the lead role after arriving in the UK less than
six months ago. He said: "I've never been over here before and this will be my first visit
to Cornwall - it's a sort of working holiday!"
But he added that Joseph was a pleasure to perform. "The musical is so familiar -
everyone seems to know all the songs."
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical version of Joseph was first seen in 1968
and has been delighting audiences ever seen with its retelling of the Biblical story of
Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colours. The show's hits include Any
Dream Will Do, Close Ev'ry Door to Me and One More Angel .
Glenn said the popularity of the show made his job much simpler. "It's very easy for me
to do the work because everyone seems to know the words and they sing verbatim.
I've really enjoyed the UK tour so far and the audiences do seem to give a lot back."
The current tour of Joseph runs until November. Although the West End version has
included famous names like Jason Donovan and Philip Schofield, Glen said that there
have been many Josephs over the show's 23 years.
Interviews with Glen Drake
Irish News Online 2001
By Robert McMillen
The life of an actor isn't all limelight and limousines. Glen Drake who is appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Opera House was in his dressing room in the middle of two shows with four radio interviews sandwiched in between. He works hard for his money.
"My brother had a little magic show just for friends and family and I helped him out with that, but I really fell into acting.
"When I was younger I was into tap dancing so I was on stage from an early age and I did a lot of amateur dramatics but I got offered an apprenticeship at a professional theatre in New Zealand and before I knew it, I was acting for a living," says Glen.
It all started when the Kiwi heart-throb auditioned for a TV show down under called Shortland Street - still on our screens here and was asked to stay for two years!
While TV was great for Glen, the role of touring actor appeals to him.
"I'm not a morning person, and when we are on stage we work incredibly hard to get it right, but you don't work a lot during the day but I like that lifestyle."
If variety is the spice of life then Glen's career is tandoori, playing in such diverse shows as Hamlet, Treasure Island, The School for Scandal and Trainspotting on stage and Hercules the Legendary Journeys on TV.
"In New Zealand the acting profession is so young and small there are only 3.5 million people living in new Zealand you have to have a lot of strings to your bow. You need to be flexible in what you can do," he says.
And so Glen is bringing his singing, dancing and acting shoes to the Opera House in Belfast as Joseph in the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic.
"As a touring show, it is necessarily smaller than the one I did in New Zealand where we played big venues for long periods of time, so we had a lot more gadgets."
However, smaller means more intimate, and there is no doubt the local audience will make Glen's task easier by singing along in their inimitable manner.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is surely one of the most celebrated musicals of all time. Equally important is the popularity it has gained through the countless school and amateur productions over the years. For all the splendour of the major stagings, the show has never betrayed its roots as a musical written for young people.
Packed with some of the most immortal and unforgettable songs in musical theatre, including Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me, One More Angel and many, many more, Lloyd Webber and Rice's musical about the boy who couldn't stop dreaming is guaranteed to delight everyone, regardless of age.
Since the show's creation over 25,000 children have taken part in the numerous productions that have been staged around the world. Over 40 children from the McMaster Stage School in Bangor will take centre stage at the Grand Opera House as the Joseph Choir, an integral part of the show, when the production comes to Belfast.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs at the Grand Opera House from Monday 15 to Saturday 20 October 2001.
This is Wimbledon
New Zealander Glen Drake is playing the title role in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Wimbledon Theatre.
Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colours this was the show which launched the careers of Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice. Joseph is full of catchy songs including Close Ev'ry Door To Me, One More Angel and Any Dream Will Do.
What's been your best ever part?
Sickboy/Tommy in the play of Trainspotting.
Who is your most admired actor or actress?
Robert De Niro.
What's been your favourite or most memorable job while resting?
What's been your most embarrassing moment?
Playing pool on stage and a ball bounced off the table, hit the stage and rolled off the side. I had to retrieve it. There was a very long and silent pause while I did."