Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar (UK Tour) at the Milton Keynes Theatre



Jesus Christ Superstar (UK Tour) 
Milton Keynes Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 13th July 2015
★★★

In my mind Jesus Christ Superstar is one of the greatest musicals. Having premiered on Broadway in 1971, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera retells a story everyone knows, contains some truly iconic numbers and features two of the best male leading roles in musical theatre. 

Having played Jesus between 1996 and 2005 in the West End, on Broadway, on film and in a previous UK touring production, Glenn Carter once again reprises his performance. Carter certainly knows how to pull the money notes out the bag, making an almighty impression with his rendition of 'Gethsemane' at the end of the first act. 

Understudy Tim Oxbrow shone as Judas. His powerful vocals soared during the opening number 'Heaven on Their Minds' and later he let rip during the musical's title song 'Superstar'. Other stand outs came from Kristofer Harding as Simon, Johnathan Tweedie as Pilate and Cavin Cornwall as Caiaphas.

Rachel Adedeji, who made it to the fourth week of The X Factor live shows in 2009 and has appeared in Thriller Live, is lacking in acting ability as Mary Magdalene. Vocally she showcases some nice tones, but her presence is extremely weak and she has little chemistry opposite Carter.

The cast may be small and the stage may occasionally look a little empty, but the big numbers are brought to life. Jesus Christ Superstar is undeniably powerful; some moments are tough to watch and highly effective. Although a little tame, Carole Todd's choreography is adequate whilst the design is simple, neat and compact for a touring production.

Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright's production is perfectly enjoyable. A couple of the leads seemed to dip in and out of auto-pilot, but perhaps I was unfortunate to catch them on an off-night. The supporting cast and ensemble gave their all.

Jesus Christ Superstar is a terrific show and I would love to see some fresh life breathed into it. We are spoilt for talent in theatreland and it would be great to see some bold new stars taking on the emotion of the story and excitement of the score with punch and passion. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Jesus Christ Superstar runs at the Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 18th July 2015. The tour is currently booking until 5th December 2015. Please visit www.kenwright.com for further information, full tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

2 comments:

  1. well either you were watching a different show or you've received a nice back hander
    sound = rubbish
    judas = couldn't hear a word he was saying clearly
    set = embarrassing
    glenn carter = give it up he's bordering on bad amateur
    Rachel = surprised she could be bothered to turn up

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was utterly disappointing

    ReplyDelete