Jac Yarrow is the first Joseph to ditch the iconic loincloth after an incident
Star of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Jac Yarrow, 23, by putting himself in the shoes of Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield, back on stage after confinement, and rather embarrassing rehearsal in front of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Was there any pressure to get in shape to wear Joseph’s famous loincloth?
We don’t have a loincloth. I tried one for the first dress rehearsal. I changed very quickly and said to the dresser, “It’s really small, I don’t think it’s going to fit”, but we had to keep going.
It was at the London Palladium and it was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first time to attend the show. I sang and got up at the end of the song, and the loincloth fell from my body to the floor. I was there in my underwear before the Lord!
I had to continue and I did the rest of the act in my little white boxer shorts. After that, they thought maybe we should cut the loincloth, so I’m now wearing loose white pants with a rope belt. I am the first Joseph not to wear a loincloth.
Weren’t you still in college when you landed the role?
Joseph’s producer came to see me in my final year drama school show and invited me to audition. It was a whirlwind.
I auditioned five or six times a week and they were intense auditions – I was in the room for three hours straight. They filmed all of my auditions and sent them to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
I didn’t hear anything for two weeks and I was back at college taking classes. Then, on my 21st birthday, I got a call saying I was going to do the show. I went to college the next day and said, “I’m so sorry, but I’m going to have to leave now and not come back. ”
What did you know about Joseph before?
I actually played Joseph when I was 10 years old. It was a condensed 30 minute version and I didn’t have a technicolor dream coat so I was Joseph without a coat which was weird. I then saw him on tour when I was eight and watched Donny Osmond’s video several times.
You stepped into the shoes of Jason Donovan and Phillip Schofield – was it scary?
It’s an iconic role and normally it’s played with someone who is very well established. There was me, making my professional debut. I must have pinched myself that they gave it to a stranger.
How does it feel to return to the series after a two-year hiatus due to the lockdown?
With a show like Joseph, we’ve all known the songs for years so that I can remember them. It was harder with the choreography.
Jason Donovan is also back – he plays Pharaoh – and we both thought we were going to be fine and find out. For the most part we did, but there were some parts where we just looked at each other and waited for it to come.
Did you practice the songs in the shower while you were away?
I didn’t, but I was with my family in Cardiff during a lot of lockdown and they sing Joseph all day, every day. My parents and my sister love musicals.
Where do you live now?
I have an apartment in London. I miss Wales a lot, I feel more comfortable in the countryside. I live alone in London, which I enjoy, especially when I perform. I tend to just do the show and then come home and shut up.
How does it feel to work with Jason Donovan?
Since daybreak he has been so supportive and welcoming. I was nervous during rehearsals when I had to sing Any Dream Will Do, because it obviously had great success with it. But he was the first person to hug me and say it was awesome.
Did he give you any advice?
He told me to remember that the work is happening on stage and doing the show. He said it was easy to get distracted by the fans, the audience, the critics and the buzz around the show.
How old were you when you decided to be an actor?
I started taking acting and singing lessons when I was six years old. I took a magazine home from school, pointed to an ad for a drama school, and said to my parents, “I want to do this. It was really out of left field.
How were you as a child?
I was a theater geek. I would follow my favorite artists on Twitter and Instagram. I wanted to know what they were doing and I would see any show they were in. I loved the Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff. I watched the Cats DVD and listened to Phantom Of The Opera.
Were you an autograph hunter?
When I was a kid my parents would say, “Let’s go to the stage door and get an autograph.” I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to, because one day I might work with these people and then I would be embarrassed.’ My parents were laughing, but now I’ve worked with some of these people that I saw on shows when I was a kid.
Jac Yarrow will star for a strictly limited season at the London Palladium. Performances begin July 12. josephthemusical.com
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