Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review: Godspell in Concert (UK Tour) at the Hackney Empire

Godspell in Concert (UK Tour) 
Hackney Empire
Reviewed on Sunday 5th April 2015

This was my first time seeing a production of Godspell which is touring the UK following a one-off West End staging last year. Bringing together a series of gospel parables, Stephen Schwartz's weird and wonderful musical features an exhilarating score.

The cast sing their hearts out, with one of the biggest stand out performances coming from Jennifer Potts - it seems there is no note she cannot hit. Elsewhere impeccable vocals are provided by Mitch Miller, Leanne Jarvis and Laura Mansell who stepped in during rehearsals when Jade Ewen withdrew from the production due to ill health.

Tom Senior makes quite an impression as Jesus, taking to the stage with natural charm, charisma and strong singing. Former X Factor runner-up Andy Abraham also showcases some remarkably passionate vocals. 

The standard of singing is high all evening, but acting-wise there are several questionable moments. A choir join the cast for a few numbers (a local choir have been selected for each venue) dressed in bright t-shirts; unfortunately this made the show feel a little amateurish. This concert staging is also let down by the scenes performed between songs which often feel awkward and are lacking in pace.

Godspell is a unique show and I had a great time watching it live for the first time. However, this semi-staged concert production is a little clunky. There are a handful of golden moments and I certainly left the theatre feeling uplifted as it would be impossible not to be inspired by the talent and energy of the company.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Godspell in Concert tours the UK until Friday 3rd July 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Darren Bell

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