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ORT Reporter: Jesus Christ Superstar (BITA)

BITA took Jesus Christ Superstar into the modern day, bringing a high energy production to The Old Rep Theatre performed by talented local youngsters, immersed in an artistic set and full of creative special effects throughout to a sell-out audience.

Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970 rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical is mostly sung-through, with little spoken dialogue. The story is loosely based on the Gospels' accounts of the last week of Jesus's life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion.

The pre-show saw ensemble members flooding the stage and crowded around shabby tents and log fires. The band soon struck up the opening number and the show began with the ensemble performing a perfectly timed dance throughout the first few musical numbers until the principles appeared.

Max Eade as Judas was a standout performer throughout the entire performance showing true emotion and had the audience engaged whenever he was onstage. Specifically, when he sang in ‘Heaven on their Minds’ and ‘Blood Money’ alongside the two Caiaphas’ who harmonised well with one another and impressed the audience.

Dec Foster as Jesus had a large stage presence and carried out the highly demanding role very well specifically during the solo of ‘Gethsemane’ to captivate the audience. Dec also complimented the voice of Lorna Highley as Mary when they sang together with Dec’s powerful voice and Lorna’s soft tone created an emotional atmosphere built up with the acute movement blocked by the director. Supporting roles such as Simon, Herod, Peter and Pilate also fulfilled their roles to a high standard and showed the great talent which existed within the company.

However, it was the large ensemble presence which really brought this performance together and made it the spectacular show it is. Impeccable choreography, which had been clearly rigorously rehearsed along with a range of harmonies, filled the stage throughout the production. The combination of unique special effects, talented leads, energetic ensemble and a dedicated creative team helped to make the show a roaring success and received a standing ovation on the opening night.

With just a few more opportunities to watch this amazing show, I recommend that you book your tickets while you still can.

Article by BOA Student Harry, as part of our ORT Report scheme

Photo credits: Sam Oates (@SOStudioFX)