10th July 2014
The Guildhall Theatre, Derby
Type of Production
Laura Howard, Vicki Palmer, Stephanie Wright
Author: Joyce Handbury
I have seen and been involved in this show many times but have never seen it staged on board a Pirate Ship but what an inspirational and innovative choice of setting it proved to be. The set was that of a ship complete with rigging, rope ladders etc and the ship’s wheel became the ‘cross’ for the Crucifixion. Everything revolved round this cut-throat band of pirates under the ‘guidance’ of Captain Jesus and his promise of ‘The Kingdom of Treasure’. Richard Pearson excelled in this role. He totally captured the stereotypical nuances of a pirate captain whilst superbly narrating the parables from St. Matthew’s Gospel and effortlessly interacting with the other ‘pirates’. He dominated the stage throughout coping admirably with the different facets of the character and, he can sing as well! The two other named characters were Luke Grainger as Judas and Brett Waller as King Neptune and John the Baptist. They are extremely talented young men both in acting and singing and played their respective roles with supreme confidence. All the cast of pirates had various roles within the show which were all superbly performed and the solo and choral singing of the many well known numbers was first class. Playing an integral part in the show were fourteen children from Crich Junior School.They were all amazing little actors and singers and during ‘All Good Gifts’ played recorders and Estelle Cumberworth delighted us with a flute solo. As is usual with Godspell there were many modern-day references including ‘Emmerdale’, ‘Only Fools and Horses’ and of course ‘Gangnam’ made an appearance! Vibrant costumes, good lighting and sound effects, an exuberant and enthusiastic cast, good well performed choreography and great use being made of the auditorium all bound together by a magnificent quartet of ‘Minstrels’, made this a truly inspiring show.