Delving into the new testament, Jesus Christ Superstar unfolds the story of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem at the start of Easter week to his crucification. Filled with an electric score and a dynamic cast displaying sharp vocals.
Glenn Carter reprises the role of Jesus Christ exquisitely, his stage presence is commanding. Not only does his aesthetic completely match all expectations of what Jesus would look like, his vocal range is phenomenal. With a sublime tone ranging from the deeper angrier notes to a flawless falsetto.
Judas played by Tim Rogers gives an excellent performance during “Judas’ death”, capturing the raw, intense emotion and conveying it through his voice in such a poignant yet powerful way. He has just the right amount of passion and his acting is highly convincing.
X factor finalist Rachel Adedeji plays Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus who falls in love with him. Her vocals are beautiful, expressing the tenderness of the
character whilst also encapsulating the rock influence of the musical in her voice. Although her portrayal of the character isn’t very conspicuous, there are a number of scenes such as Jesus’ death that allow the audience to explore the character and her emotions a little more. Despite starting off a little weak she really came to life especially during Could We Start Again Please sung with Edward Handoll who plays Peter.
Tom Gilling shines as King Herrod as he provides a hilariously camped up performance for his starring number. Shedding a spark of comedy on the show, the perfect song to lighten up the musical from the heavier numbers.
The set, designed by Paul Farnsworth, is superb. Not only does it take the audience back in time, it is stripped back and simple allowing the story to really be told through the movement. What the space lacks in fancy design and moving set it gains in energy and emotion. Lighting designer Nick Richings worked well with the simplicity of the set to create stimulating lighting that complimented the intensity of the performance.
The strength of the final scene is so powerful, with the impact of the orchestra the whole performance is potent. The energy of the cast is infectious, building the climax to when Jesus is crucified. It is gruesome and graphic yet it so striking and the lightening in this scene is impeccable.
A backing choir of children from Birmingham’s own theatre school The Theatre Workshop joined the cast on stage for multiple numbers. I was truly impressed by their professionalism and talent, they are some of the most polished children I’ve seen on a UK tour.
Jesus Christ Superstar is a magnficent production filled with intensity, power and jaw-dropping vocals.
Jesus Christ Superstar is on at The Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday the 7th of November and tickets can be found here.
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