50 Years on and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR continues to fill theatre’s and huge concert venues and attract an army of new fans along the way.
When it first came into being, it wasn’t as a show but a revolutionary album, the story goes that no one wanted to produce it as a stage musical. Thank goodness it did eventually make it onto the stage, and then bnig screen and now the new, reimagined production comes to the capital this week. Returning to Swansea in April.
Set against the backdrop of ancient Judea, the musical chronicles the final days of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his disciple, Judas Iscariot.
With its explosive blend of rock, gospel, and classical music, Jesus Christ Superstar has become a cultural phenomenon since its debut in 1970.
The musical follows Jesus and his followers as they arrive in Jerusalem, and the conflict that arises between them and the Roman authorities.
Judas, torn between his loyalty to Jesus and his fears about the consequences of his actions, ultimately betrays his friend and sets in motion the events that will lead to the crucifixion.
Filled with iconic songs such as ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Superstar’, and ‘Gethsemane’, Jesus Christ Superstar is a tour de force of musical storytelling, bringing to life the passion, pain, and sacrifice of one of history’s most revered figures.
With its powerful performances, stunning choreography, and unforgettable score, this production is sure to leave audiences mesmerised and inspired.
IAN MCINTOSH (We Will Rock You, Follies, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Olivier nominated for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Musical) will be starring as Jesus. SHEM OMARI JAMES (Dreamgirls) will be playing Judas and HANNAH RICHARDSON (Sting’s The Last Ship) will play Mary.
They are joined by RYAN O’DONNELL (Tina the Musical, Quadrophenia the Musical, Romeo & Juliet – RSC) who will be playing Pilate, JAD HABACHI (Jesus Christ Superstar, Dirty Dancing) as Caiaphas and MATT BATEMAN (The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd) as Annas.
The ensemble includes Jasmine Jules Andrews, Louise Francis, Francis Foreman, Megan Bryony G, Joshua Hawkins, Darius J James, Cassandra Lee, Pàje Campbell, Stephen Lewis-Johnston, Myla Carman, Charlie McCullagh, Jago Mottart, Mia Musakambeva, Timothy Roberts, Luke Street, Jordan Michael Todd, Timo Tatzber, Carla Bertran, Daniel Bowskill, and Christopher Tendai.
Featuring lyrics and music by Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar and Tony winners TIM RICE and ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, this production was reimagined by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre where it originated and is helmed by director Timothy Sheader and choreographer Drew McOnie. Completing the creative team is design by Tom Scutt, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Nick Lidster and music supervision by Tom Deering.
Producer David Ian told us…..
“I am thrilled to be taking this award-winning production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s much loved musical Jesus Christ Superstar on tour in 2023/2024. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has created a fresh and bold new version of a beloved classic which will enthrall both longtime fans of the show and delight those seeing it for the very first time”.
TEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
- IT BEGAN AS A CONCEPT ALBUM BECAUSE NO PRODUCER WANTED TO PUT IT ON STAGE.
- YVONNE ELLIMAN WAS CAST AS THE ORIGINAL MARY MAGDALENE AFTER LLOYD WEBBER HEARD HER SINGING AT A NIGHTCLUB.
- BACK IN THE DAY IT WAS ABOUT AS CONTROVERSIAL AS YOU COULD GET – IT OFFENDED RELIGIOUS GROUPS.
- HAVING SAID THAT – POPE PAUL VI WAS GIVEN A PRIVATE, ADVANCE SCREENING OF THE 1973 MOVIE VERSION.
- THE MOVIE VERSION WAS PRODUCED BY SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER PRODUCER ROBERT STIGWOOD. THAT SOUNDTRACK ALSO FEATURES A SONG BY YVONNE ELLIMAN (IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU).
- JOHN LEGEND PLAYED JESUS CHRIST IN A LIVE TV BROADCAST OF SUPERSTAR ON AN EASTER SUNDAY.
- JUDAS SINGS ‘SUPERSTAR’, THE SONG THAT GIVES THE MUSICAL ITS NAME. OR MAYBE IT’S THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS WHO SINGS IT, BECAUSE JUDAS KILLS HIMSELF BEFORE THE CRUCIFIXION.
- ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER WROTE PART OF THE TITULAR SONG ON A NAPKIN.
- THE STORY DEALS WITH THE FINAL WEEK OF THE LIFE OF JESUS, AND THE CONFLICT BETWEEN HIM AND JUDAS – SOMETHING WHICH ISN’T BASED ON BIBLICAL ACCOUNT.
- A BOB DYLAN LYRIC INSPIRED THE MUSICAL’S DEPICTION OF JUDAS – (DID JUDAS ISCARIOT HAVE GOD AT HIS SIDE? FROM THE 1964 SONG WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE).
This production of Jesus Christ Superstar won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the 2016 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, selling out two consecutive engagements in 2016 and 2017. The production played a West End engagement at the Barbican in 2019 before returning to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in concert version during the summer of 2020.
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR gets to the Wales Millennium Centre this evening, Monday 29th January through to Saturday 3rd February. Performances are at 7:30pm each night with a 2:30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets start at £18.00. For more details, and to get yours go HERE.
There’s an age guidance of 10+ and the show contains mature themes and depictions of violence.
The tour then returns to South Wales in April getting to the Swansea Arena from Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 6th. Performances are at 7:30pm each evening with a 2:30pm matinee on Wednesday and Saturday. For details and tickets, go HERE.