Coming with a renowned reputation for being the longest running theatre production. Every group knows choosing to take up the mantle of Jesus Christ Superstar knows they have big boots to fill. Penned by Andrew Lloyd webber and Tim Rice for the Broadway stage in 1971. Setting the benchmark formula for many a stage show to follow.
At its core, Jesus Christ Superstar is a song and dance telling of the dramatic tale of Jesus Christs life and death. More over its an equal telling of companion Judas’ betrayal. The evolving story told for some 1700 years since the ‘canon’ story was formed and wrote down by Constantine at the council of Nasea in 300AD. Focused into acts. The torment of Judas betrayal, love from Mary. Of course leading to the editable Crucifixion.
Amateur dramatics always finds itself with some to prove, the Peoples Theatre Company reached lofty and high. With a cast of mixed ages and experiences, directed by Chris Teasdale. Punching above their weight with strong convincing performances. Sam Barston as Judas with an exceptional voice astounding the assembled when in his stride.
Vivenne Tay invoking strong resonant believable emotion as love Mary.
A bold move with a humorous camp overtone serving to bring out smiles and breaths of laughter moving the story towards the torture. Resident lead Patrick McCrystal didn’t quite strike the mark some in the audience muttering that they couldn’t quite hear what he was saying – Until the marquee songs, where to his credit he hit it out of the park. Meng Khaw as Caiaphas bringing in a Mortal Kombat style villian-esque stance and frown. Villians are common in the tale, John Wrightham as Pious Pilate. Another exceptional standout of the cast as Annas also taking a co-directing role with the Peoples Theatres Company production is Luke Grainger. Hidden beneath the front of the stage, a quintet 5 piece full live played renditions of the popular classics. Musicals come to life with live music.
Jesus Christ Superstar always brings out the masses to the theatre environment, the production team and crew behind this rendition of the classic should be extremely pleased with outcome of such hard-work.
When something out of the ordinary occurs, audiences take on a different personality. Effectively an ice breaker of a hundred people, they feel a different connection to the organizers, staff and performers. In this case a fire evacuation snapped in as the show had gone into its opening. Pleasantly refreshing to see a show where the audience became relaxed to enjoy the show. Perhaps should occur more frequently.
Performances are available until Sunday 11th September. Nottingham Arts Theatre. Available at the Box office and online.