In the summer of 1967, Andrew Lloyd Webber was asked by Alan Doggett, head of the Music Department at Colet court, St Paul’s Junior School who taught his younger brother, Julian, to write a ‘pop cantata’ for the school choir to sing at their Easter end of term concert.
Andrew immediately approached his friend Tim Rice to ask if he would write lyrics for the project. After toying with ideas about spies, 007?s and the like, Tim suggested the story of Joseph.
The first performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was on a cold winter afternoon on 1st March 1968 at the Old Assembly Hall, Colet Court, Hammersmith.
Accompanied by the School orchestra and conducted by Alan Doggett, the performance was only 15 minutes long.
It was such a success that a second performance was arranged on 12th May 1968 at Central Hall, Westminster, where Andrew’s father was the organist. Julian Lloyd Webber gave a classical recital in the first half, along with Bill Lloyd Webber. The audience of approximately 2,500 consisted mainly of parents of the Colet Court boys. To Andrew and Tim’s surprise, Derek Jewell, Jazz and Pop Critic for The Sunday Times, saw the show and wrote a favourable review of Joseph, which appeared on 19th May 1968. A third performance took place on 9th November 1968 at St Paul’s Cathedral, where Josephwas expanded to include songs such as ‘Potiphar’ for the first time.