Jesus Christ Superstar

Date 15th May 2014
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
Type of Production musical
Director Dave Slade
Musical Director Derek Blyth
Choreographer Louise Airey and Slava Budin-Jones


Author: vicki Avery

Jesus Christ Superstar is the story of the last week of Jesus’s life and struggles between Judas and Jesus. This struggle was superbly interpreted by both Steve Anderson, as Jesus, who has played this role for Lytton in the past and Colin Woolmer in his first appearance for Lytton, as Judas. Both formidable actors with a vocal to match.

Mary was compassionately played by Danielle Cavender, her singing of “I don’t know how to love him” was technically correct but for me lacked passion and this comes with experience and intimate knowledge of how ones voice works in certain composers constraints. However, this young lady indeed has much potential and should be nurtured and encouraged .Her duet with Peter (Ross Edwards) was brilliant, their voices blending well together with just the right level of emotion.

The deep voice of Calaphas (Kevin Grace) was really creditable and helped to emphasize his position of authority.

Pilate (Steve Wilks) again showed what a good voice he has and always stayed fully in character throughout. New members to Lytton should watch and learn from this experienced performer. He encapsulated the feeling of ambivalence as he realized Jesus was no common criminal.

Herod’s scene (Bob Sulzbach) was great fun and brought light relief from the tense build-up. As always Bob showed great energy and enthusiasm. He always gives a totally committed performance and becomes his character.

The scene with the apostles was superbly acted by everyone and was very effective.

All the ensemble scenes throughout were very effective especially the stylized flogging scene. The gruesome, viciousness of the crucifixion was delicately portrayed, and was convincing without being bloody as so often is the case.

Direction was good although at times the choreography took the eye away from the central characters and perhaps the adage “less is more” might have been more appropriate, however, this is just personal preference and did not effect the overall quality of the end result.

I am not sure that the lighting was always well defined and I found the multi coloured effects did not always work. Costumes were good and suitable for the time setting and very workable.

The set although simple was the perfect backdrop to complement the story and the range of effects created the perfect atmosphere.

The orchestra was well balanced and not once did I feel that the performers were in direct competition with the sound from the pit. Excellent control here from the MD Derek Blyth, who seem to be able to blend light and shade perfectly with atmospheric intensity.

A good production. Congratulations.

Thank you for your hospitality