BWW Interview: Jac Yarrow Talks JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the London Palladium
Jac Yarrow is about to make his professional debut as Joseph in a revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium. He spoke to BroadwayWorld about donning that coat of many colours.
Who inspired you most growing up?
More recently, I was inspired by Audra McDonald in her performance of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. It was the most committed and heart-breaking performance I have ever seen. She lived on the stage; she didn't perform. That was a huge game-changer for me.
What made you want to be a performer?
I've always wanted to perform. I used to be in school shows from when I was about three years old. I took them very seriously and was known for telling other kids their lines if they forgot on stage - and ad libbing for the reaction of the audience!
My parents also love theatre, so I got to see loads of touring productions, and occasionally in the West End. I thought the performers were magical. I couldn't see how I could ever be that good one day, but I was determined to try.
What has been the most useful lesson you've learned while training?
I learned a lot of valuable lessons from my time training at the Arts Educational Schools, London. The most important lessons have to be to trust yourself and know your worth. You are enough. And also, don't be late!
Can you talk us through how you got the role of Joseph?
Michael Harrison, the producer of this new production of Joseph, came to my college to see my final production of Disney's Newsies (in which I played Jack Kelly). Michael then asked me to come in and audition for the role of Joseph.
I completed two work sessions with the director, Laurence Connor, before having a final audition in front of the entire creative team, which was filmed for the approval of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice. I was thrilled to learn I had landed the role on my 21st birthday about two weeks later.
Have been a fan of the show growing up?
Joseph was always a show I was familiar with growing up, as the music is so iconic. I performed the role when I was about ten years old in a stage school production and would occasionally watch the 1999 film with Donny Osmond. I saw the UK tour in Cardiff when I was young and remember being wide-eyed and on the edge of my seat the entire time.
How does it feel to be making your professional debut as a leading man in the London Palladium?
Making my professional, leading man debut in the West End is overwhelmingly exciting and an absolute dream come true. I'm constantly pinching myself. The fact that I get to do it on stage at the world-famous London Palladium is hugely special.
Performing on this historic stage is something I never thought I would do, let alone on my first job! It is a magical building. Walking in the footsteps of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Bruce Forsyth, Tommy Steel, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr (to name a few) is quite surreal.
You can feel the energy of the millions who were entertained there as you sit in the auditorium. It's thrilling and utterly inspiring.
Has Jason Donovan been passing on any wisdom, as you step into his shoes?
Being in the room with Jason Donovan is an absolute joy. He is everything you want him to be: hilarious, kind, generous, daring and excitable. I am quickly learning how a leading man should conduct himself and lead a company by watching Jason.
The day I met him, he told me: "Don't think too much. Just be the role. It's not Shakespeare; just love what you're doing and own it." Brilliant advice I will always remember.
Any particular moments or numbers in the show you're looking forward to performing?
I can't wait to perform "Go, Go, Go Joseph", as I get to dance on stage with the whole cast! Joseph has never danced before, so I'm thrilled to be able to inject this new energy into the role. The first time I sing "Close Every Door" on stage at the Palladium all by myself will be pretty magical too.
How are rehearsals going?
Rehearsals are going brilliantly! I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such an incredible team and cast. The level of professionalism means we're working at a great pace, and I am constantly learning and growing, watching the incredible performers around me.
What is your favourite colour of "Joseph's Coat"?
My favourite colour of Joseph's coat is GOLD.
Do you remember your dreams at night? Do you consider yourself a good interpreter of them?
I never remember what I dream at night unless it's a scary nightmare - then I can't stop thinking about it! I'm awful at interpreting my dreams, but sometimes I Google what they mean...
Why do you think Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has stood the test of time?
I think Joseph has stood the test of time simply because of its score. The music is so iconic. It's ingrained in people's minds and is a huge part of theatre culture, especially in the UK.
It is also the definitive example of storytelling at its best. As soon as the Narrator opens her mouth, you are engaged and gripped with childlike enthusiasm.
Why should people come to see this particular production of Joesph?
People should see this new production of Joseph because it's bigger and more exciting than ever. Morgan Large, our amazing designer, has come up with the most beautiful set and costumes to tell the story.
With Laurence's new vision and the stunning new choreography by JoAnn M Hunter, audiences are going to be in awe from the very start.
We also have the most incredible company led by Sheridan Smith, who has been perfectly cast as the Narrator. I cannot wait for people to see this new version of Joseph!
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium until 7 September