Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jesus Christ Superstar review 20th July 2010 Whitley Bay Playhouse Day8 Productions

Jesus Christ SuperstarImage via Wikipedia
Jesus Christ Superstar review 20th July 2010
Whitley Bay Playhouse
Day8 Productions

Jesus Christ Superstar

On the 8th day, God created Rock 'n' Roll. Well very apt that the inaugural show by Day8 Productions certainly has rock 'n' roll and religion down to a fine tee.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar is the monumental two-act tale of betrayer and betrayal, following Judas, the Priests, the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the rest of his Apostles.
Judas and the Apostles are beginning to question Jesus and his motives, they want to know where the love that they have for him is leading. Could it all end down narrow alleys and only be in the mind and the hearts of themselves?? They want proof and results. Judas leads this revolt, and is questioned by the Priests who are getting more and more concerned that Jesus and his followers establish a major threat to their power and authority. They also want answers! They want to put a stop to Jesus. With the help of Judas-the betrayer, the betrayal is about to begin!!! What follows is a lively and colourful account of life, guilt and death in this Biblical musical.
 First night nerves were certainly prevalent during tonight's performance, considering that this was the first time some of the players had set foot on stage, then more power to them, the week of performance ahead by them will set them in good stead. It wasn't only the actors who has little problems, the stage design of metal platforms, was only just adequate, (befitting of course this small production) but the stage handling of the only moveable item, was clunky and noisy, this will have to be addressed. I was actually cringing and was mentally awaiting the next movement. Could this have been done whilst the musical score was in place?? Talking about music, the orchestra was very good but sometimes very overpowering, with a musical like this you have to follow all of the singing dialogue, sometimes this was missed, and if you didn't already know the story, then watching the rest of the evening could be a struggle!!!
A few technical glitches first of all in the lighting design proved a little bit of a disappointment, some of the actors were at times in darkness, when the light should have shone, and secondly at a critical time in the proceedings on stage, a snippet of a public safety announcement (originally played at the beginning of the performance) came streaming through, the crowd laughed and the actors got on with it, but I bet at that stage the production team were having a few puppies!!!

The above criticism though, won’t put me off recommending this musical play to you.
It at times had the West End of London stamped all over it. The well-versed actors and actresses once recovered from the original nerves came over very well. Day8 hope to work and nurture these actors in the future, and I for one hope they do.
The singing was on top form, especially from Mary Magdalene and the traitor himself Judas. Marie Swan who plays Mary is a stalwart of the stage, on this performance alone should be very proud of her singing. Bigger and better things await I am sure. Kevin Gilroy, who plays Judas, has 12 years of singing behind him and it really told. He had been out of the acting game for a number of years, this time it didn't tell. Well done to him. Ian Bianchi who carried Jesus off with some style, really impressed with his high octave notes, I am sure a few of the audience, will be taking their spectacles to be repaired in the next week.
Jesus Christ Superstar is packed with hit after hit of well loved songs, including “I don’t know how to love him”, “Could we start again please” and of course the unforgettable “Jesus Christ Superstar” itself
Under the Directorship of Lesley-Anne Crawford and Philip Dixon, the musical oozed with confidence at times and flowed very well.
The sell out crowd at the Whitley Bay Playhouse certainly looked and sounded as though they enjoyed themselves. A rousing standing ovation met the actors at curtain down; hopefully every night will be the same. Hopefully every production will better and reinforce itself that local amateur theatre in the North East is blooming…and blooming great it is too.
Jesus Christ Superstar is a great show; if you go and see it, I am sure it will evolve into a brilliant show.
Jesus Christ Superstar is performing until Saturday 24th and tickets are priced at between £10.50 and £13.50.

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