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Review: Jesus Christ Superstar, Gloucester Cathedral

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 31, 2014

By Martin Kirby

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Jesus Christ Superstar at Gloucester Cathedral

I could sum-up this spectacular in Craig Revel Horwood’s three favourite words;

‘A-May-Zing!’

There can’t be many people who haven’t seen Jesus Christ Superstar in some form but it’s a fair bet they’ve never seen it like this.

The musical is difficult enough to stage in a theatre, but to do it in a building that is over 900 years old and designed for the sound of a priest’s voice to echo around the congregation, is a feat akin to walking on water.

However, Producer and Artistic Director, Jerry Lane has not only overcome the sound challenge but with superb lighting effects and a simple but effective stage arrangement, he has set a new standard in musical production.

Such is the quality of performance that unless you know them personally, it’s difficult to tell the amateurs from the professionals.

Jon Moses (Jesus) shows why he made it to the final stages of ITV’s “Superstar” and along with fellow professionals Daniel Haslam (Judas), Paul O’Neill and Ria Keen (Mary Magdalene), fills the vast space with sound.

It’s clear that working with these people has encouraged members of the GODS (Gloucester Operatic and Dramatic Society) such as Malcolm White and Tristian Dior, to raise their game and they gave some stunning performances for a packed and appreciative audience.

This is not just a musical show; it’s a whole new experience. The way that actors weave along the aisles and make use of the organ balcony brings a dimension to the proceedings that you simply couldn’t have anywhere else and I feel proud that the first time Jesus Christ, Superstar was performed in a Cathedral - anywhere in the world – was in Gloucester.

If there’s any improvement to be made, it’s right at the end. The audience remained seated when the show was over, expecting a ‘final bow’ from the cast but for some reason, it never happened.

That’s probably down to the way they disperse after the crucifixion scene, making it difficult to get everyone back to the stage in an orderly fashion but I really think a way should be found to do it so the superb cast can bask in the kind of well-deserved standing ovation that we were ready to give them.

Jesus Christ, Superstar runs until Saturday 29 March and if you don’t go to see it, you’ll be missing something special.

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