Jesus Christ Superstar

Date 23rd November 2019
Society Abbey Players Swansea
Venue Grand Theatre Swansea
Type of Production Musical
Director Ashley Eynon-Davies
Musical Director Nathan Jones

Report

Author: Luke Spencer

This iconic rock opera has had many an interpretation over the years. I have seen many performances of this opera and some have succeeded where others have left me wanting more. This production by Abbey Players left me wanting for nothing. It was quite simply outstanding.

The set was beautiful and used brilliantly by the cast, with many interesting levels and creating a visual marvel for the audience. This coupled with an exquisite lighting plot and good costumes transported us all on the journey of Jesus and his followers.

The band were tight and ably led through the difficult non-stop score by Nathan Jones. The ensemble were the best I have seen from Abbey as their focus was exceptional, not one person was out of character at any point and their singing and movement were beautiful.

The principals were well cast with Michael Aubin taking on the title role of Jesus with great aplomb, demonstrating his talent as an actor and commanding stage presence at all times. He really took the whole audience with him and held led the company throughout. Jacob Tanner as Judas was excellent and gave us his amazing vocal talent in everything that he sang quite brilliantly, he was a joy to watch and listen to. Mary Magdalen was portrayed with subtlety and a certain naivety that made the character really believable and Carys Melodie playing this important role certainly shone in all her songs. Jesus’ disciples were all so well-focused on stage, with Simon Lloyd-Jones playing a very impressive Peter and Dale Gravell giving a lovely performance as Simon the Zealot. The performances given by the Jewish and Roman officials were excellent and mention must go to Andrew Powell as the chief priest Caiaphas for a very fine performance, Jonathan Lycett as Annas with amazing conviction in everything he did and sang, a very powerful and real performance by Peter Hawkshaw as Pontius Pilate and a brilliantly comic but also menacing performance by Lyn Williams as King Herod.

The whole company worked as a team and this really raised the show from a good production to an outstanding production. The commitment and brilliant vision from director Ashley Eynon-Davies were evident here and this made for me a show that will be remembered for many years to come.

Thank you so very much to the entire company for a truly moving, entertaining and thought-provoking production