Jesus Christ Superstar


Rotherham Civic Theatre / 11 - 16 November 2013

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The Show!

JCS poster

Jesus Christ Superstar tells the biblical story of Jesus Christ's final days of life. Over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ is being hailed as the messiah of Judea. Nervous about losing their power, the Romans, with the help of Judas, find and arrest Jesus and crucify him. The story is told mainly from the perspective of Judas, the disciple who eventually betrays Jesus and turns him in to the Roman authorities.

The Cast!

MAIN CHARACTERS

JESUS - Scot Johnson/ JUDAS - Ian Fryer/ MARY - Emily Huddleston/ ANNAS - Dez Renshaw/ CAIAPHAS - Alex Wilkins/ SIMON - Brad Swinburn/ PETER - Matt Roberts/ PILATE - Jonathan Taylor/ KING HEROD - Ashley Bucker/ SOUL GIRLS - Katie Eyre, Charlotte Spowage, Karen Wilkins/ HEAD PRIEST - Geoff Fenwick/ PRIEST - Michael Cahill.

Understudies

JESUS - Davy Jones / JUDAS - Brad Swinburn.

Dance Team

Rachel ward/Courtney Sutton/Summer Davies/Beth Britland/Zoe Jenkins/Charlotte Spowage/Heather Slack/Jess Fenwick/Alice Renshaw.

Male Dancers

Matt Roberts/Brad Swinburn/Matt Ellis/Josh Roberts/Elliot Lee/Davy Jones.

Ensemble

Clive Richardson/Andy Waldie/Elliot Lee/Matt Ellis/Emma Fiddler/Josh Roberts/Ray Roberts/Dan Fenwick/Lindsay Hans/Rebecca Critchley/Helen Garnar/Mandy Ward/Scott Hall/Geoff Tonks/Shirley Sales/Brian Gent/Tracy Sheldrake/Eleanor Thomas.

Choir

Esme Brooke/Celia Aynsley/Angela Stewart/June Noble/Margaret Bemrose.

The Production Team


Director / Choreographer : Dee Bennie-Marshall

Musical Director : Heather Jackson/Matt Symmonds

Stage Manager : Richard Badger

Production Assistant : Matt Roberts

Costume Manager : Hillary Pratt

Director's Cut

Director - Dee Bennie-Marshall
Coming Soon!

The Reviews!

Click the review below to read the write up!

NODA - Les Smith

I have heard many comments about Jesus Christ Superstar, including it is a show you either like or dislike and even hate at times. Well this was my first viewing of the show and I do hope it is not my last; of course I knew most of the songs and like most people knew the story.

Dee Bennie-Marshall decided to do this in a very modern setting starting with rival gangs coming on to the stage initially fighting and then morphing into a well choreographed dance routine. I felt this worked very well as it is a story which most people can relate to in modern times and not just in the biblical era.

Dee also decided to take it back to its original roots as a rock opera with loud music and typical dancing befitting the piece. I did hear someone had complained about the music being too loud but for me it could have been even louder to give it its full justice.

There were some outstanding performers in this, some being new ones and some not so new, a newcomer to principal roles was Brad Swinburne as Simon, Brad looked and sounded every bit the part and I am sure he will have a long career in performing. I have seen Alex Wilkins many times on stage both as a character and also in cabaret but I have to say he was perfect in this part as Caiaphas, his deep rich baritone voice brought it to life. For me one of the difficult parts in this show is that of Pontius Pilate, most people I think would be unsure whether to play him as a nasty piece of work or one asking for sympathy from the audience. Jonathan Taylor chose neither of these portrayals and instead played him as someone who thought he knew everything and had it all stitched up until this Jesus person comes along and I think he was right to do this, getting every ounce out of the part. Emily Huddleston was a delight to watch as Mary, her singing of the songs was a wonder to hear and she was able to make the part her own especially when she was part of the gang culture joining in with her friends but then showing her caring side for Jesus.

The part of King Herod was played as camp as Christmas by a glittering Ashley Booker, he certainly sparkled his way through Herod’s Song complete with glittery lipstick and nail varnish almost bringing the house down.

This show is the story of the last few days of Jesus as told through the eyes of Judas who was played by Ian Fryer and he worked the part all the way through the entire show but I have to say I felt there was something lacking, not necessarily in his performance but something which I am unable to put my finger on and this is a big shame as Ian did work very hard at this

One of the things this show calls for is an outstanding actor to play the title role and Rotherham Teachers certainly got this with Scott Johnson, I can’t say he 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. There are some very demanding songs for anyone playing Jesus culminating with Gethsemane which calls for an actor with a tremendous range to be able to hit all the high notes and also give it some clout. Scott had it all, he hit the notes with ease and I believe would have had the stamina to carry on if the show had called for it.

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 the rest of the actors left the stage for the final scene, I would imagine there would have been many tearful eyes at that point.

Well done RTOS and congratulations on your centenary, here’s to the next 100 years.

Rotherham Advertiser

Coming Soon!

IT WAS not until I returned to the office after my night at the Civic on Tuesday that the obvious nature of my “it built to a fantastic crescendo at the

Rather like the settling down to watch the film Titanic, there are few people who will have taken their seats at the Rotherham Teachers’ Operatic Society production not fully

Still, despite the colour, music and camp psychedelia of the final scenes, it felt awkward applauding enthusiastically as a suicide and a

Last time I saw the rock opera created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber was probably in an RE lesson at school

Few of the songs had stuck in my mind and from the off it was the dancing that shone in the Teachers’ production.

Last year I saw Ian Fryer take on the role of Jekyll and Hyde for the company and his opening number as Judas, Heaven In Their Minds, communicated a similarly sinister characterisation. But in her role as director, Dee Bennie-Marshall displayed her skills of choreography by making maximum use of a large cast to bring the confines of the Civic’s stage to life.

Impressive as Scott Johnson’s vocal range was — his falsetto pitch communicating Jesus’s frustration with a morally corrupt and violent society — much of the first half lacks the memorable tunes of some of Rice/Lloyd Webber’s best work and it is the dancing that helps maintain the audience’s attention.

Things come alive in the second half, when Jesus is about to make the ultimate sacrifice and Judas’s betrayal reaches its dramatic climax.

Dressed all in black, Ian Fryer shows impressive stage prescence and it’s good to see Scott Johnson’s characterisation of Jesus progress to a more visually dramatic — rather than emotionally tortured — state.

Stealing every scene she appears in is Emily Huddlestone, however, who is pitch perfect as Mary Magdeline.

As some cast members struggle to make their lyrics clearly heard, each word of the narrative she delivers is as clearly audible as it is musical.

The contemplative Could We Start Again, Please? is one of the show’s highlights, as the people of Jerusalem begin to realise the error of their ways and their illtreatment of Jesus. Like Titanic, though, the audience is ready and waiting for the finale...

The dream-like state Jesus assumes after lengthy torture at the hands of the Roman Army gives a freer reign to get colourful and OTT and King Herod’s Song, complete with glitter jackets and Can- Can, lights up the stage.

Moments later the introduction of angels to the stage adds further to the visual appeal of the piece. Scott Johnson moving and convincing trial and ultimate death, however, makes for a poignant, thought provoking finale.

Camp, colourful and at times shocking, Jesus Christ Superstar is at times overwhelming in its mixture of the harrowing and the glitzy, but the Rotherham Teachers’ Operatic Society hits the nail on the head with their uplifting finale and left an audience feeling thoroughly entertained.

We knew what was coming...but it still left us wide-eyed when we finally got there.