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Thursday 10th April, 2003 - 12:29 BST
A (super) star is born
Jesus Christ Superstar at The Ipswich Regent
By Katy Evans
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar

Katy Evans reviews this famous musical brought to Suffolk by the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, one of the first amateur companies to be granted performance rights for the show.

On Stage

Jesus Christ Superstar preview

The Regent

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Jesus Christ Superstar is on at The Ipswich Regent:

Weds 9th - Sat 12th April 2003

The Regent Box Office:

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Ipswich 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?

In 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.

Told 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.

quote A moving and mesmerising masterpiece that's entertaining, informative and as good as any professional show. quote
Katy Evans

Sung 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, Superstar.

Jonathan 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 fame.

Duncan Broatch possesses, quite possibly, the deepest singing voice in existence and his commanding portrayal of Caiaphas has to be heard to be believed.

There 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.

Due 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.

The 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.

Everyone 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 professional show.

How 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.

Katy's mark out of 5: 4

Jesus Christ Superstar

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Performed by: Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society
Director: Jeremy Tustin
Musical director: Alan Humphrey

Where: The Ipswich Regent
When: 9th-12th April 2003
Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm Sat)
Price: £12/£10 (conc. available)
Box Office: 01473 433100
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