JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR

Date 31st January 2014
Society Ballywillan Drama Group
Venue Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Director Brian Logan
Musical Director Eric Boyd
Choreographer Sharon Logan

Report

Author: Sheelagh Hobart

An exciting Production, atmospherically lit, also by Brian Logan. The well-conceived Set was multi-leveled, accommodating the large cast; Sound was good throughout. A mixture of costume periods confused me – some possibly influenced by the recent Arena Tour? The female-heavy cast necessitated priests becoming priestesses so Maxine McAleenon, Kellyann McKillen, Maelissa Cunning, Olive Hemphill and Megan McKenna became Caiaphas, Annas and others; all singing their unusual roles well. David Ferguson was authorative as Pontius Pilate – “Pilate’s Dream” was vocally excellent – and Oliver Doone played Herod with energy. Two soldiers (Lyndon Hull & Tom Waddell) kept the crowds  ‘controlled’, joined by 3 more (stage hands!) for final scenes. All disciples (Adam, Shea, Mark, Lyndon, Ben, Lucas, Sean-Paul, Rodney, Tom and Leon) worked hard and sang well; Richard Mairs made an impact as Peter. Adam Goudy was convincing as Simon Zealotes and shared the role of Judas Iscariot with Alan McClarty - the latter on my night. After a throat infection, Alan’s voice was not quite up to the vocal range needed but he gave an emotive performance. Louise McClarty made a gentle, sensitive Mary Magdalene with lovely singing, especially "I don't know how to Love Him". Richard Campbell played Jesus with gravitas and palpable emotion during his iconic "Gethsemane".

Sharon’s large ensemble was well choreographed. The continual feeling of urgency she and Brian created was tangible. Eric Boyd's orchestra, with impressive acoustic guitar, kept a good balance between ‘pit’ and stage. Harmonies were impressive and the whole show assured and engaging.