Why Lee’s living the dream
7th July 2019
Ahead of his one-man show at Hever Castle’s Festival Theatre on July 27 Lee Mead, who found fame on BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do and has gone on to to star in numerous musicals and TV shows, talks to Eileen Leahy about seeing his acting dreams become a reality
Lee rose to fame after being selected from 10,000 auditionees on the
BBC1 series Any Dream Will Do in 2007. He won the contract for playing Joseph in the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and carried out 600 performances. He has also appeared in Legally Blonde, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera
Tell us a little bit about your show My Story: A Dream That Became A Reality which you’re bringing to Hever Castle’s Festival Theatre this month
I got asked to do an autobiography about 12 years ago but felt it was too soon as I was only 25 or 26 years old. But now at this point of my career, and being close to 40 and having worked professionally for 18 years I thought it would be a nice halfway point in my life to do a show that talks about my life story and career to date.
What has the audience’s reception been like to the tour of your one-man show so far?
Brilliant! They have had a real insight into more of who I am as a person and been given a chance to hear some interesting stories that they have not heard before and a real insight into the highs and lows of my life.
Do you enjoy living out of a suitcase and being on tour?
I do love it but the older I’ve got I find that I don’t like to be away for weeks on end. But doing these one-nighters like the forthcoming show at Hever Castle is great fun and gives me the opportunity to visit different parts of the UK.
You’ve had an incredible career so far, what have been your key highlights?
They include getting a record deal with Universal, playing the role of Joseph in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and being invited to sing by Prince William and Prince Harry at the Concert for Diana.
'I thought it would be a nice halfway point in my life to do a show that talks about my life story and career to date'
Another highpoint was getting to play the character of Lofty Chiltern in BBC1 hospital dramas Casualty and Holby City and then having roles in primetime TV series like Bedlam and Three and Out.
How do you deal with the low points that inevitably come as part of the fame
and fortune package?
I personally have always found them okay as I have a very solid family and home life and I have never put my career first; it’s always been my personal life first. I have never put my career on a pedestal.
You’ve appeared in numerous West End musicals; are there any favourites which particularly stand out?
Playing Caracatus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was fantastic and getting to fly the Chitty car was a really special moment. I also enjoyed playing Fiyero in the Wicked musical where I had an amazing ten months and it was great being part of such a big production.
Do you ever get stage fright? If so, how do you deal with it?
No I’m lucky as I have never suffered with stage fright!
You’ve been in a number of TV shows too? What do you enjoy about your TV work?
It’s nice because it’s so different to working on stage. Everything is far more intimate because it’s shot on camera so you almost have to scale your performance down but still maintain the focus. I also enjoy being a part of an ensemble cast and have made some great friends over the years in television.
What acting or singing ambitions do you still have left to fulfil?
I would love to be in a four or five-part TV drama or even a film.
I would also love to return to the West End in a brand new musical.
What will people get from seeing you perform your one-man show at Hever Castle’s Festival Theatre?
Some great music, laughter, and an insight into someone who has been fortunate enough to have an amazing career to date.
For more information on Lee’s show My Story: A Dream That Became A Reality at The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle visit www.heverfestival-tickets.co.uk