Operatics are rocking the Regent once again, this time with an energetic,
engaging production of the popular Rice/Lloyd Webber classic Jesus
Chris Superstar. And what better time to stage the religiously themed
musical with Easter just around the corner?
complete contrast to the last IODS offering (the fluffy, fruity
and frivolous Copacabana), JC, as it's known by cast members, is
a powerful, heavy-duty musical full of depth, character and passion.
through the eyes of Judas the betrayer (Roger Jackaman), we witness
the final seven days of Jesus' earthly life from his entry into
Jerusalem culminating in his brutal crucifixion.
A moving and mesmerising masterpiece that's entertaining, informative
and as good as any professional show.
from beginning to end, it takes you on an emotional roller coaster
with tearful ballads such as I Don't Know How to Love Him, to funky,
toe-tapping beats including What's the Buzz and, most famously,
Mudd excels as Jesus, displaying an impressive vocal range and captivating
the audience with his emotive, impelling interpretation. Samantha
Horsfield provides his perfect foil as Mary Magdalene. Her solos
sent shivers down my spine with a performance worthy of West End
Broatch possesses, quite possibly, the deepest singing voice in
existence and his commanding portrayal of Caiaphas has to be heard
to be believed.
are too many other notable performances to mention all individually,
suffice to say the whole cast copes remarkably well with what is
undoubtedly a difficult score. While not really a 'dancing' show,
the choreography is excellent with everyone giving it their all
like true professionals.
to the subject matter, it's quite an intense plot, especially in
the second act. But, almost as if realising the danger of plunging
the audience into total depression, an unexpectedly camp and light-hearted
number interjects, courtesy of King Herod (the fantastic Phil Cory)
accompanied by eight leather-clad, hot pant-wearing Charleston dancers.
set design is simple yet extremely effective with clever use of
lighting to depict varying moods. There were the occasional first
night technical glitches courtesy of new radio mikes, which caused
the odd buzz here and there but were soon sorted out.
involved in the production, from cast to crew, is to be congratulated
on successfully pulling out the stops to create a moving and mesmerising
masterpiece that's entertaining, informative and as good as any
ironic though, that the life of one of the world's greatest religious
icons is portrayed by a secular, popular musical. I wonder what
Christ himself would have thought? Well, if he saw this production
I'm sure he'd give it the thumbs up - I certainly do.
mark out of 5: 4
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Performed by: Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society
Musical director: Alan Humphrey