Review: Milton Keynes audience give Jesus Christ Superstar cast a richly-deserved standing ovation
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The show is a global phenomenon that has wowed the public for decades and it wasn’t difficult to see why after two hours of this pulsating musical on Monday.
Featuring lyrics by Tim Rice and the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar features Ian McIntosh (Jesus), Shem Omari James (Judas) and Hannah Richardson (Mary). They are joined by Ryan O’Donnell (Pilate), Jad Habchi (Caiaphas) and Matt Bateman (Annas).
The show depicts the series of events during the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas.
It’s the first entirely sung-through musical I’ve attended and at first I was a little apprehensive that it could result in a plot that might be a little hard to follow if I couldn’t pick up on the lyrics. But, let’s face it, most of us know where this story is heading and I have to say by the second half I had been completely won over.
The legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’ and Ian McIntosh – who arrived on stage as a trendy modern Jesus complete with guitar and baseball cap – was remarkable in the lead role throughout, passionately belting out the numerous rock numbers and equally adept in the gentler moments. Also impressive was Hannah Richardson as Mary who put on a superb vocal performance.
After being seen as a threat to the Romans, betrayed by Judas for a chest of silver, the story then reaches its gruesome conclusion. We see Jesus getting weaker after taking many brutal beatings, receiving 39 lashes, before ultimately his crucifixion. The scenes are extremely well done and makes for powerful theatre.
The choreography throughout this show is outstanding and you’ll find your eyes glued to the stage in this feast of movement and dance.
At its conclusion, there weren’t just pockets of the audience giving the cast a richly-deserved standing ovation, this was pretty much every single audience member up on their feet showing their appreciation.