By: Dulcie Harrison, TRP Reviewer
Jesus Christ Superstar storms onto the main stage at our beloved Theatre Royal Plymouth this week! The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical with lyrics by Tim Rice is everything you could imagine it to be and more and if I could sum this show up in one word it would simply be a masterpiece!
The show is a beautiful revival of the original first seen in 1971 in Regents Park Open air theatre. Since then, this amazing show has ridden on the back of rave reviews and huge reputation which, after seeing it last night, I can truly see the hype it has deservedly come to Plymouth with- especially
with the full house standing ovation!
Most people will be familiar with the story of Jesus Christ and the show starts with the lead up to Judas’ betrayal and the final few days of Jesus’ mortal life. Jesus (Ian McIntosh) and Judas (Shem Omari James) played their roles effortlessly, with power and beauty in their stand out lead vocals and performance that blew every member of the audience away. Their dynamic and interaction with one another on stage truly made for a most captivating and emotional journey through the story.
Other leading characters Mary (Hannah Richardson) provided softer moments with Jesus, played with such a gentle manner Mary was taken into the hearts of everyone in the theatre with beautiful songs such as “I don’t know how to love him” and “Gethsemane”. King Herod (Timo Tatzber) provided an amazing electrifying moment which took me by surprise and had the audience truly gripped. Flamboyant, outrageous and slightly humorous, the performance was simply perfection and the song was absolutely brilliant! Pilate (Ryan O’Donnell) was great- He really conveyed the torment the character was in, all while delivering a truly powerful performance and incredible vocal display.
Directed by Tim Sheader We are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as the performance blossoms into a mix of dance, haunting lyrics and spectacular lighting effects. The costumes (designed by Poppy Hall) were, I thought, really clever in the way they mixed modern garments yet easily became
identifiable as biblical robes and the mix of them both created a rocking edge to the show! Each outstanding cast filled every inch of the stage, which on the first impression left little room for much movement but the expertise of stage designer Tom Scutt allowed plenty of space and with such visual lighting effects and clever spot lights and use of props it was nothing short of breathtaking. I loved the reference to the last supper painting – that was an act of pure genius. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was seeing the orchestra members on view within the set, the cast joining in on the percussion instruments and, I cannot empathise enough, the overall effect this gave us as an audience along with the expertly cast actors, outstanding vocals, there was amazing choreography and every single cast member gave 100% to their roles.
A purely magical visual display of excellence which will have you enthralled, moved and possibly tearful in places. An absolute must see, this show is rightly held in high esteem within the theatre industry and it has secured a place where it resonates with audiences hearts across the world. This
show will give you chills, goosebumps and everything else you could possibly need from a live show.
Grab a ticket while you can- playing until November 11th!