WhatsOnStage Logo

Superstar blog: Jesus Christ & other miscasting

WhatsOnStage logo
With the news that Chris Moyles is to play King Herod in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, it got me thinking about other bizarre casting choices in other shows. Which cast lists have made you think that it was April Fool's Day when they were announced? Here are some of mine.

When Harry Met Sally - starring Gaby Roslin.
Picture the scene - we need someone who can carry off the Meg Ryan kookiness - Gaby Roslin? You would have been laughed out of the meeting, but this is exactly what happened. The result? A car crash, particularly during the famous "I'll have what she's having" scene which was unbelievably bad.

The Wizard of Oz - starring Russell Grant.
Stunt casting gone mad and to all those who say - "Wait until you see him" - I did and  the effect was bewildering. He had no stage presence, no timing and could not sing. Ok, some of the songs were designed to almost be spoken but it was the equivalent of watching your uncle get the role. As for the Strictly dance scenes which was added - it would not have got a "sev-uurrrrn."

Rent - starring Caprice.
Miming, no acting ability whatsoever - one of those nights when you long for an understudy to trip the 'star' up and grab all the limelight. This was one of the worst performances I have ever seen. Idina Menzel played the role of Maureen and in her capable hands there was an off the wall performance with enough emotion within the vocals. Here, there were just tumbleweed moments whenever the lady was on stage.

What shows have you seen, which you feel were miscast? Stunt casting - whichever way you look at it, might get people into the theatre and give newspapers something to print but does the bizarre cast choices make the audience stay or go? In the three cases above, you'd beg to get out.

Jesus Christ Superstar arrives in Manchester 30 September and Liverpool on 16 October.

It stars Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles. Jesus has not been found yet - the search begins soon and we'll be blogging about the show once the auditions are televised. Watch this space.


Tagged in this Story