Lee Mead .. Timeline
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Warners Star Break .. 5 April 2014
Lee joined the roster of stars headlining Warner Leisure Hotels ever-popular 'Star Breaks' weekends in 2014, performing at Littlecote House Hotel in Berkshire on the Saturday evening of a three-night break starting on Friday 11 April 2014.

On check-in the previous day, guests were told there would be a Q&A session ahead of the concert and given slips on which to submit their questions. So a little after 8.30pm, Lee took to the stage in front of a packed entertainment lounge, and with his usual charm and cheeky humour answered a series of questions put to him by Littlecote host, Dan, or sometimes by the originator of the question when Dan took his roving mic into the audience.

The questions, spanning his whole career, included:

  • what motivated him to get into the business - 'if I'm completely honest, the women', but then he found he both enjoyed and had a talent for it and pursued it more seriously;
  • how he chooses the songs for his albums and tours - 'carefully', it's a slow and thoughtful process to find the right songs;
  • his impression of Andrew Lloyd Webber - 'a very attractive man', adding 'genius' to that assessment when the laughter faded, saying what an honour it had been to work so closely with him;
  • music or acting - 'both, please', although focusing on the acting for now, he hopes he will always be able to balance that with performing and recording

    with many other stops along the way, also touching lightly on the personal - how he balances his hectic work schedule with family life and whether he sings to daughter, Betsy.

    A couple of other interesting things emerged via his answers and comments later in the show:

  • his next album (due for release late this year or early next) is likely to be a collection of classic MGM Musical showtunes, some of which we have heard at recent concerts, and he is in talks with Tudor Davies (who directed him in Robin Hood last Christmas) to direct the associated tour;
  • he reached the final audition for Chris in the new West End production of Miss Saigon which opens next month and it looked like he would be offered the role, but then came the call from Oliver Kent, Executive Producer on Casualty, and his career took a new path;
  • and it's a path he's thoroughly enjoying - his initial contract is for a year but it seems he wouldn't be averse to extending it if the opportunity arises.

    After an interval, Lee returned to the stage accompanied by his very talented band (musical director, Mason Neely, on drums and guitar, Will Stuart on keyboards and Richie Blake on bass, and performed a set combining showtunes from Lee's 'back catalogue' of musical theatre roles with tracks from his albums (past and future) and songs he simply loves to sing.

    I have included the full setlist here.

    It was a show full of passion and power, warmth and wit and was received with great enthusiasm by the assembled Warners guests, many of whom had never seen him sing live before and ended the evening wanting to see him again.

    The heat of the lights and a week of night shoots for Casualty put a rough edge on Lee's usually silky-smooth tones but this detracted nothing from his performance, the rawness giving an intensity to 'Bring Him Home' which made it one of the most powerfully emotional versions I've ever heard.

    Finally, a few photographs from this wonderful evening:
    Lee's full concert schedule (including past appearances) can be found at - CONCERT DATES

    Last updated: 13 April 2014