Jesus Christ Superstar
Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:33 PM
Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:39 PM
Design: John Napier
Costume: Sue Wilmington
Choreography: Aletta Collins
Lighting: David Hersey
1998 UK Tour Production
Design: Peter J Davison
Costume: Roger Kirk
Choreography: Anthony Van Laast
Lighting: Mark McCullough
Was there another UK touring production between these two RUG shows?!
Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:14 PM
Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:13 PM
Well, the number 'Superstar' was show-stopping, literally. Jesus walking to his crucifixion, all very dramatic, we hear the disembodied voice of Judas start the number, dancing angels take to the stage, then suddenly the music halted & we hear the disembodied voice of Judas mutter 'Awesome!'
There was then an announcement to the cast to clear the stage & one to the audience that due to a techhnical hitch the show would resume shortly. Which it did (10 mins?) but such a shame to pause at such a dramatic moment!
Will post my full thoughts later but will always remember the show for this!
Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:55 PM
Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:05 PM
Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:28 AM
All of the leads were OK, not amazing, but probably not as bad as expected. (I was a bit cynical). Mel C was fine, if dull. Ben I think made a good fist of most of it, vocally he sounded strong but does over emote a bit & unfortunately, when he tries to do 'angry' or 'upset', he turns very camp & whiney. Tim Minchin was largely very good but he simply doesn't have the range or control & so goes quite off key now & then. When he's good, he's excellent but his reprise of Don't Know How To Love Him was, for example, barely recognisable as the original melody. Fantastic actor though. Moyles really worked & his is one of the best scenes! Brief but funny (and I've never been a fan.) The other 'minor' roles were all good.
The staging & the arena setting were the biggest negatives for me. I agree with those who said it would be better in a standard theatre. I was Level 4 and the actors were dots, the camera work on the screen was patchy, and partially obscured from my seat by a lighting rig hanging just above it. So any acting or detailed business, as well as the finer points of the choreography, were often pointless as a lot of the time I could only see the big picture. Which at times worked but at times made you wonder if the creatives had ever considered the performance from anywhere other than front stalls (or whatever you call it in an arena).
Sound was not too loud, but not terribly distinct especially when the actors were on the move and many individual mic cues were missed. In a sung through piece like this, you need to hear every word. My daughter, who is not familiar with the show, found it very difficult to follow,
The best bit was Gethsenmane, Ben did that brilliantly. I felt engaged & moved, which I hadn't during the rest of the show. But they kept it simple, he stood (and knelt) and just sang. So no movement that you couldn't quite see, or to distort the vocal.
The "God thy will is hard" line was rpelaced with "God thy will be done, take thy only son" so looks like a permanent change.
The 'Spinal Tap Moment' - see above (love it, gandalf!) was unfortunate too. Poor cast.
So, interesting, but I would much have preferred it in a theatre. Or a sung concert, like the Les Mis one. My friend who has seen the (recently closed) broadway production said that was far superior. Starting so late didn't help the mood, but I found it all a bit soulless too. Some auditorium music before the start would have perhaps created a better atmosphere.
Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:23 AM
Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:30 AM
A very brief report.....
We went last night and I can tell you there were no technical probs. The show was very different from earlier theatre productions. Personally, I liked it. The cast were fine. ALW definately knew what he was doing. Ben sang his role very well. Mel C & Moyles did well and for all those doubters; Tim Minchin made a distinctly different and very good Judas. Forget any thoughts of well-known WE stars in the role, they wouldn't have been right. A thoroughly good show.
Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:50 PM
I enjoyed Ben very much and he got far more applause than anyone else which surprised me. I agree that the size of the arena made it hard to really get into the emotions of the show.
For me, the supporting cast were amazing. I loved all three of the baddies and they did much with so little. True veterans of the stage.
Agree with above poster that I can't see anyone else doing it. I wonder what Tim Rice would've made of it as he was so opposed to the whole contest thing.
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