Jesus Christ Superstar review: ‘brave and gritty with an astonishingly talented cast’
PUBLISHED: 00:10 13 April 2018
The stage is set with scaffolding poles strung with fairy lights and a pair of trainers.
It is populated by disciples and followers drawn from the ranks of hooded teens with ‘Meet me at Mcdonalds’ hairstyles and girls with ripped tights and French plaits.
Their quarrelling and fighting is stilled by a figure above them with pop star good looks in a crisp white shirt.
So far no-one says a word.
Then the singing starts. And this is the bit where it could all go wrong. But, praise the lord, everyone is an unexpected pleasure to hear.
Jesus (a magnetic Lewis Aves) and Judas (a tortured Harry Williams) are incredible as are all the leads, possessed of genuinely good singing voices which are powerful and poignant in equal measure, producing some real belters.
Rebecca Jillings as Mary gives us a rendition of I Don’t Know How to Love Him, as good as you will hear anywhere, drawing extra whoops from the packed audience.
The acting too seems to come easy, every gesture, motion or glance impressive but also understated, natural and mature.
When the action pauses and the stage is still the audience was still in the palm of the young actors’ hands.
The songs are familiar, of course, as are many of the scenes but relocated in modern times which works well with the young cast who seem completely at home.
In the second half we move into darker territory where the adoring fans turn into a baying mob - Jesus in an orange jump suit having obvious political resonance.
The finale is dramatic and beautiful. It is all gorgeously lit.
This is new ground for St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth and a show to really be proud of and applaud.
It is brave, gritty, raw and real with an astonishingly talented cast that deserves to be supported and seen,
The show runs from April 11-13 at 7.30pm (tickets £10, under-16s £5).