Jesus Christ Super Star

Date 30th April 2014
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Lee Payne
Musical Director Nigel Newman
Choreographer Rachel Apps

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

Jesus Christ Superstar is the story of the last week of Jesus’s life and the antagonism between him and Judas. This struggle was superbly interpreted by both Mark Gordon, as Jesus, and Davide Arbisi as Judas. I can’t say Mark looked the typical person we all come to think of as Jesus with long hair and a beard, but boy did he play that part and give it his all. Davide, in contrast, strutted around the stage portraying the disturbed mind of Judas with energetic dynamism.  Both these performers were outstanding in the roles they were given but unfortunately I felt that they were struggling against an overpowering orchestra forcing them to produce impossible volume especially on the high notes. It was almost as if they were in competition with one another! Although the accompaniment in general was played well, it was quite often too loud especially during the up-beat rock numbers. This was a shame as it detracted from what was a tremendous production. Mary was compassionately played by Katie Newman whose singing, dancing and acting was a joy to watch.  Her rendition of “I don’t know how to love him” was incredibly moving. Here is a young lady who should be on the professional stage. I have seen Andy Roberts many times and felt he was perfect in the part of Caiaphas with his great voice and ability to bring any part to life. John Chambers as a very camp Herod was brilliant. His song was delivered with great panache and comedy and his wonderful team of dancers almost brought the house down. The costumes in that song had to be seen to be believed. Giving strong support was Oli Taylor as Peter (his duet with Mary was very impressive). All supporting parts were well played and fitted in appropriately with the story line. I especially enjoyed the performances of the four Roman guards and the four Angels and all the ensemble scenes throughout were very effective. The sets although simple were the perfect backdrop for the clever use of lighting which produced a range of effects and created various atmospheres. The scene with the apostles was superbly acted by everyone and was very cleverly directed as was the entire show. The end of the story as we all know sees Jesus on the cross and at this point you could have heard a pin drop. He had been nailed in place and one was unaware that anyone else was on stage his presence was so riveting. I would imagine there would have been many tearful eyes at that point.