Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

A TV talent show was used to find a new actor to play Jesus in the Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. But the casting of Ben Forster, from Sunderland, proves the worth of these shows, as would Ben every been even auditioned, let alone cast by conventional methods? But when he literally stops the show with Gethsemane, you know he has a strong career in front of him. Having heard several artists sing this song I can honestly say Ben is in a category of his own and leaves others standing in his wake.

The Arena version of this show is perfectly staged, setting the action in present day, as long as we do not question someone being crucified today. The staging appears at first to just be a large amount of stairs, but there are many surprises within the set design. Apart from Forster, the cast includes Christ Moyles as Herrod, Mel C as Mary Magdalene and Tim Minchin, who is a revelation as Judas.

An instant standing ovation from a packed Arena showed thousands of people agreed that this production is another smash hit to add to the Andrew Lloyd Webber catalogue.