Homeless twist on classic rock opera by youth group

The young cast of Jesus Christ Superstar which has been given a homeless twist. Photo: Dan Smith

The young cast of Jesus Christ Superstar which has been given a homeless twist. Photo: Dan Smith - Credit: Dan Smith

The timeless story of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion has been brought up to date in a new youth musical at Great Yarmouth.

Jesus and his disciples are shown as homeless people seeking fair treatment from the “council” led by Pontius Pilate.

The new take on the iconic tale features in a novel version of the Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera performed by a new youth drama group making its debut at St George’s Theatre.

Co-director Harry Williams, who also plays Judas Iscariot, said: “Putting the story into the modern day provides a context that really works for the young cast.”

Around 20 actors aged from 12 to 28 are involved in the production, which will strip the venue back to its church roots using rustic and scaffold pole scenery, and uses its balconies to house the chorus singers.

The show stays true to the original story while bringing it up to date, and features the hit songs from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1971 score, including the signature Superstar and I Don’t Know How to Love Him.

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.

Most Read

Mr Williams, 23, from North Walsham, added: “This is my favourite show, which I have seen lots of times so it is wonderful to be appearing in it.”

Other key roles are Lewis Aves as Jesus, Rebecca Jillings as Mary Magdalene, Dan Smith as Pontius Pilate and co-director, Nathan Harrod as King Herod and Simon Lawlor and Shani Ann as High Priests.

Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The young cast have done a wonderful job putting their slant on this rock opera classic charting the last few days of Jesus’ life.

“We are keen to launch amateur dramatic groups for all ages at St George’s, so it is an exciting few weeks ahead with the youth group as the first to step into the spotlight with their musical, followed by our new adult group, St George’s Players, who debut Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van from May 23-25.”

The show runs from April 11-13 at 7.30pm (tickets £10, under-16s £5).

For more information on shows and drama groups call 01493 331484 or visit www.stgeorgestheatre.com.