Lee Mead is celebrating the release of his first album since 2012 with a tour coming to The Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering.
Some Enchanted Evening is released on Friday February 26 and can be seen in Kettering on Friday March 18 and it has come about due to popular demand.
Lee said: “A lot of my fans have been asking me about releasing an album around musical theatre. And I felt it was already well catered for with people like Michael Ball, John Barrowman and Michael Crawford releasing that kind of album.
“It was about finding something in that style but different and something that would satisfy me artistically as well.
“I was sitting in a Cafe Nero in Haymarket and the idea was to take a lot of the classic songs from the early days of musicals.
“I remember sitting with my younger brother Casey and watching musicals when I was 10 years old like Anchors Aweigh and Singing in the Rain.
“I was so excited, I think I spent five hours on the internet and YouTube looking at songs from those musicals that I remember.
“The hardest thing was I think we found 70 songs and it was whittling them down to the 11 that are on the album and 20 that will be performed on the tour.
“I do love singing all of the songs and the album and it is difficult to pick a favourite. But I do like Luck Be A Lady and All The Things You Are because the lyrics are just so fantastic. And Feeling Good even though it has been covered most recently by Michael Buble, but it’s a song I really like.”
Although he is a comparative veteran of the stage, it will be his first time at the venue.
Lee added: Having performed at some of the best venues in the country including the Garrick, the Barbican, the Collosseum, the Royal Albert Hall and Wembley, it is great to perform at some of the smaller venues.
“It’s great to be able the music to people who aren’t able to get into London and see a show. Plus a lot of the venues are where it all started for me playing Joseph.
“I have a friend of mine in Kettering and she is bringing her family so it will be lovely.
“Performing live is something I started off doing 15 years ago and for me seeing people enjoy themselves is something that makes me really happy. I like that immediate reaction that you get.
“Whereas television, it has a much bigger audience, but you are quite often performing it to just the crew. You have to get certain technical things right which I really like.
And he can scarcely believes the time that has passed since his big break on the programme to find a new Joseph.
Lee said: “It was strange, when I was up in Birmingham, a woman approached me and she said it was 10 years since the Joseph show and I can not believe how the time flies.
“It was the second show after Maria and the first episode for that had higher ratings for the final of the previous series. There was something like 10 million people watching the show on for 12 weeks and became instantly recogniseable.
“I think I was fortunate that I was 26 when I did it and while there were some of the other guys who were 17/18, I was a bit older and felt a little more experienced and ready to handle the pressures of it. Even though I was fairly new to the business.
“But I was very lucky because I was essentially the winner of a talent competition similar to The X Factor and not all of the winners have had the same level of success.”
A perfomer twice his age would be happy to have achieved half the things that Lee has so far achieved. So much though that he finds it difficult to pick one stand out high note.
Lee added: “I have loved all the different projects that I have taken on. Taking the show to the Royal Albert Hall and performing Joseph in the West End has got to be a highlight.
“Although getting an award for best newcomer in Casualty, a NTA was a big achievement.”
Hard work has been the calling card of his career. He tells me he came from a working class family and routinely took jobs like paper rounds and a milkman during his early teenage years,
He has taken a break from Casualty this year and rather than resting on his laurels, he is fitting in the new album, a tour split into two, and appearing in a touring production of one of his favourite musicals of all time.
Lee said: “I was very lucky in that my agent phoned one day and said would I like to appear as Charactacus Potts. It took me five seconds to say yes. It’s probably the quickest I ever said yes to anything.
“It was a film I saw, like many other people, when I was very young and fell in love with it. I’ll be doing five months so it is nice that it is not a long tour.
“I get to sing Hushabye Mountain which is the most beautiful song and Me Ol’ Bamboo which is a great song. I am so excited to be doing and I finish the stint in Birmingham where I have just finished doing pantomime. And then it is the second half of the tour for the album.”
The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £22 and can be booked by calling the box office on 01536 414141 or visit www.lighthousetheatre.co.uk/