Star Interview: Keith Jack

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When it came to Keith Jack’s career in musicals, not just any old dream would do... he wanted to play Joseph.

Millions will still remember the 23-year-old from the BBC reality TV show which saw Andrew Lloyd Webber search for the next Joseph to wear the character’s famous multi-coloured coat on the West End stage.

The 2007 show, Any Dream Will Do, saw Keith coming runner-up to Lee Mead. But by 2011, Keith was in the starring role and this year he is still proud to be touring in the musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

He said: “I left the programme and then went straight into the role of narrator. I left that and then two or three years later I came back and played the part of Joseph; by then I felt I was older and had more experience. I still have the same love for it. I have always wanted to do musical theatre. At one point in my life, singing was just a hobby, but to do something I love every day is amazing.

“My grandad got me into singing from an early age. He got me into a church choir and got me to sing Scottish songs. He passed away when I was 15 so it is a shame he never got to come to any of my shows.”

Keith accepts that, as the product of a TV show, he needs to prove himself to his fellow performers but, he explains, everyone has to prove themselves on stage, no matter what their backgrounds.

He said: “I was doing this anyway. I studied mu sical theatre in Edinburgh and was working at Tesco, but left to do the programme.

“I do have to prove myself as there are people out there who have trained for three years and I came from reality TV. To a point you have to prove yourself, but so does anyone else, even those people who trained for three years.”

A person’s ability to work in a high-profile musical is truly tested by the experience of actually doing a show day to day; something which can be physically and mentally tough to handle.

“I drink loads of water for my voice and I go to the gym nearly every day,” Keith explained. “I think it kind of helps me in myself as it is something else to do apart from singing. It means you can eat lots too. I could eat 10 bars of chocolate.”

From a fresh-faced amateur to someone who is fast becoming a musical veteran, Keith is now using his experience to help other young hopefuls. He has started up his own theatre school in Edinburgh, for children aged between seven and 18, called Gie It Laldy.

He said: “I got invited to see a musical theatre school in Edinburgh and the woman teaching was in her late 70s and some of the ways she was teaching the kids don’t apply in musical theatre any more. I thought I would love to go back and teach kids what I learned. I did a workshop in Edinburgh and it went down a storm so I did another one. Then I had the idea of Gie It Laldy, which means Give it Your All in English. It has been going great.”

Keith can be seen starring as Joseph at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate from February 19 to 23.