Having had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Lloyd Webber ahead of Jesus Christ Superstar taking to the stage at Glasgow’s SECC, I knew I was in for something special as the good Lord couldn’t have been more excited or enthusiastic about this new take on the show.
Brought up-to-date and set on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral during the London riots, Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock rollercoaster, featuring an incredible cast who bring the story to life with such talent and energy, you know they are relishing every moment of being on that stage.
I was most interested to see Ben Forster, after watching him win the coveted role of Jesus on TV talent show Superstar.
Thankfully, he did not disappoint and played the role perfectly, with a rendition of Gethsemane that sent shivers down my spine. Andrew Lloyd Webber told me that when he heard Ben sing the iconic track at the O2 at the weekend, it was the best he had ever heard it performed. Praise indeed.
With video screens projecting close ups of the casts’ faces, there was no room for error and Ben’s expressions of pain and anguish were compelling to watch. As were Tim Minchin’s, who was captivating as Judas Iscariot.
I thought Melanie C was a perfect, subtle, Mary Magdalene whose rendition of I Don’t Know How To Love Him was simply beautiful.
Chris Moyles got one of the largest cheers of the night, when he appeared on the stage as a modern day Herod – a game show host.
The humour he brought to the role, complemented by the clever use of visuals suggesting a TV vote to decide whether Jesus was a fraud or not, worked brilliantly.
It was also lovely to see that some of the men who lost out on the role of Jesus in Superstar, still got parts in the show and Tim Prottey Jones and Jeff Anderson were very well received, with females in the audience particularly taken with ‘Baby Jesus’. It’s a shame his microphone cut out for his solo line.
As Jesus Christ Superstar came to an end, the scenery was spectacular, with Ben hanging from a light bulb emblazoned cross, which was almost blinding. A dazzling end to a gritty, yet glitzy, production: definitely a divine show.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals how Gary Barlow inspired Superstar tour
- Melanie C gets surprise visit from Chris Moyles and Ben Forster in Glasgow