Go Go Go Jo! X Factor favourite Lloyd Daniels Takes The Coat
With less than a week until the arrival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, we caught up X Factor favourite Lloyd Daniels to talk touring, stage idols from Joseph’s past and working with co-star Amelia Lily, who makes her professional musical debut in 2015.
Hello Lloyd. How’s the tour going?
It’s going really well. We’ve done four venues so far and they’ve been fantastic.
This is your second run with Bill Kenwright’s production – what is it about this musical and the role that made you decide to continue into 2015?
The fact that it’s so fun and it’s still selling after 45 years, it’s keeping the audiences smiling constantly throughout the performance. It draws me in, it wants me to give everything that I can possible give in the ten or twelve shows every week. It’s quite nice to go into work and not feel like you’re actually working but you’re doing something you love. You’re performing in a great show and everyone’s enjoying it, everyone’s on their feet by the end of the performance, it’s just got good vibes.
Do you think it’s a musical that appeals to all generations?
It touches people, I’ve had so many people get in touch or come up to me about it. There was this one girl, she wrote a review, she’s not from the press or anything but it’s something she wants to get into. And she said they played Any Dream Will Do at her grandmother’s funeral because it was a really strong and passionate song for her sister and they hadn’t seen the show for years. She came to the show in Liverpool on the last tour last year, and she wrote a review after the show and thanked me personally for making it easy for her to watch the show and see it in a different light. And she had her heart set on seeing Donny Osmond, her favourite Joseph, but she changed her mind when she saw me, which is very lovely and flattering.
The cast must know each other so well now – is it like one big family?
We’ve got some different actors and singers in the show this year, but a lot of people have come back to it from last year, and it was so nice seeing them again. We all went back to our actual families at Christmas and then come back to our show family for a new tour, and that’s really nice. All the new cast members are fitting in really, really well, it’s going really smoothly.
A family that has now welcomed Amelia Lily into its fold! How’s she getting along?
Amazing, absolutely amazing. She’s really come along in leaps and bounds, the improvement from her first show to her fifth one in her first week is absolutely phenomenal. And she was so nervous and she only had four days to learn the whole thing! It was very rushed for her but you wouldn’t believe that if you were to see her perform. She’s just stunning.
Both being X Factor alumni, did you know each other before she started on Joseph?
Me and Amelia have known each other for two years, we used to have a few nights out together in London, and now we’re going out together on the Joseph tour, which is quite cool!
Both of you were X Factor finalists, and this show has been a musical theatre debut for both of you – did you ever think the X Factor would lead to this?
No, not at all, because it’s not something I’d ever thought about. When Joseph came along, especially at the audition process, I went down to Bill’s offices and sat down and talked to him and went through the songs, and what would actually happen on tour, not having a clue what I was getting myself into! But it was exciting and it still is, it’s very, very different, a different style of singing and there’s acting involved, and you do grow as the show progresses. It’s really nice to be a part of it. I knew the song Any Dream Will Do, possibly everyone knows that, it’s legendary. But I hadn’t actually seen the show, so this was a big jump and a leap for me. But I think it worked in my favour in a sense because I hadn’t heard the biggest songs on the soundtrack or heard the way a lot of former Josephs would have sung it , so I was able to put my own twist on it and make it my own.
But in terms of X Factor, I would never have thought in a million years I’d be Joseph, it’s phenomenal. MY family have been to see it two or three times and they absolutely love it. Like myself, they can’t believe that I’m playing someone other than myself, and it’s quite nice. Acting has never been on my agenda, so it’s quite nice to actually pull it off in some of the biggest theatres in the country, it’s amazing.
You said you have grown as the show has gone on – how have you changed from your very first performance to now?
Well, I was trembling before my first performance and surprisingly I had good reviews which I was very, very happy with. But I didn’t feel like Joseph back then. I felt like I was trying to be Joseph as opposed to actually being Joseph, whereas now, when I go on stage, I definitely feel like there’s absolutely no Lloyd in me whatsoever. I go on, I’m putting on an act and the best vocal I can, and I feel I’ve fitted into the role. Even my image, my image is completely Joseph right now, being Lloyd I’ve never looked like this.
Where are you looking forward to visiting on this tour?
There’s lots of new venues and I’m really looking forward to Bath. It’s a beautiful place, I’ve been there before, never actually seen the theatre but I’ve heard it’s lovely. And my family will visit me there as well. I do get homesick, I’ve got a six-year-old brother and I miss him. It’s one of those things where I wish I could pop back home and cuddle him up and speak to the family about personal issues and stuff, but at the same time, I’m doing something I love and I wouldn’t change it.
Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat visits the Belgrade Theatre from Tues 21 – Sat 25 April. To book tickets, call the Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or book online at www.belgrade.co.uk