Jesus Christ Superstar Review at Newcastle Theatre Royal
This week Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s celebrated musical Jesus Christ Superstar visits the Newcastle Theatre Royal Tue 26 – Sat 30 Sep 2023 as part of a major UK tour.
Reimagined by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre where this version originated we get to see this legendary musical that has wowed audiences on tour. I myself have grown up knowing of this musical and its reputation, and now see it for myself for the very first time.
Set against the backdrop during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ told by Judas we see an amazing cast and ensemble performance that genuinely display a superstar performance.
The set consists of wooden scaffolding and a crucifix set diagonally that eventually takes to the centre. Musicians are visible from these stage levels and the use of handheld microphones throughout give this a live concert feel that I really enjoyed. It was just a shame due to stage set up sometimes cast members were out of sight on the left of stage. The show starts with a brilliant ‘switch’ also out of nowhere to present us Jesus.
Excuse the pun but Jesus Christ, this was full of superstar performances across everyone in the show.
Ian McIntosh was just brilliant in this lead role playing Jesus, projecting the lead role as our main protagonist he done so with boy band-esque feel. He oozed charisma and emotion. From putting himself out there to his followers before gradual acceptance of death, he works through a range of feelings throughout. McIntosh vocals were clean and displayed a fabulous range too.
Hannah Richardson brought a calming presence as Mary to her scenes and her rendition of Everything’s Alright was superb as well as her rendition of I Don’t Know How To Love Him.
Shem Omari James as Judas provided narration and treachery. Questioning Jesus motives and reasoning as a voice of caution to his changing attitude and the acceptance of a reward leading him to the selling out of Jesus. I particularly liked the style used when accepting his reward that marked him out as a traitor at the end of the first interval and for the rest of the show. A wonderful performance from James.
Julian Clary makes a brief appearance as Herold and brings an expectedly camp performance. Clary does as well as he can in the short period of time on stage.
The ensemble are constantly at it in this show and provide fantastic vocals and choreography throughout, changing colours and clothes to reflect different elements and times in the show also.
If you haven’t seen this show then we’d definitely recommend seeing it while you can. This rock opera will amaze and entertain you. This show has latest the ages and this production ensures it’s continuation to future audiences.
Jesus Christ Superstar plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tue 26 – Sat 30 Sep 2023. Tickets can be purchased at www.theatreroyal.co.uk or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.
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