After missing the initial run in 2016, I was super thrilled to get my hands on a ticket to Timothy Sheader’s critically acclaimed production of Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Considering I’m a massive musical theatre fan, I’ve only seen 1 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and that was School of Rock, which I very much enjoyed. And I’m incredibly glad that I left Regent’s Park absolutely enjoying another one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s works.
The show follows the period of time of Jesus Christ’s life that begins just before Judas betrays him and the consequences his betrayal has to his crucifixion. The score is rock filled and is all sung through. Often throughout the show, it feels like this kind of loud and explosive score should be staged at places like Wembley Arena. The piece initially began its life as a concept album and some songs are presented as if you were at a rock concert, with Jesus and Mary Magadelene performing solos with a microphone, a stand and an acoustic guitar.
The cast is led by Declan Bennett as Jesus and Tyrone Huntley as Judas, who are reprising their roles from the 2016 production and are absolutely incredible. Declan Bennett’s career as a solo artist comes into play massively here and Tyrone Huntley proves how worthy he was of his 2017 Olivier Award nomination for playing Judas. There are outstanding supporting performances from Maimuna Memon as Mary and Peter Caulfield as King Herod. I must also mention the incredibly talented ensemble who are the ones that bring Drew McOnie’s amazing choreography to life.
Jesus Christ Superstar is a truly fantastic show and is incredible to watch in the open air theatre. Mary Magdalene would be performing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” and a pigeon would fly through, something you won’t see anywhere else. The staging is brilliantly designed by Tom Scutt and comes to life during Jesus’ crucifixion with a massive section of the stage in the shape of a cross moves on its own with Jesus tied to it. It blew my mind.
If you missed the production the first time around or you are contemplating seeing it again, I highly recommend you do so. And do it quickly, those tickets won’t be unsold forever…
Until next time,
Jesus Christ Superstar is running at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 23rd September. For tickets and more information please visit https://openairtheatre.com/production/jesus-christ-superstar
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