Express & Star

Our review of Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent Theatre

The original production was staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and had rave reviews and received the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical revival, writes Sarah Derry.

jcs pics

It was later adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and has since toured the world.

Jesus Christ Superstar is one of those musicals everyone knows and tells the story of the events during the final weeks of Jesus’ life and his betrayal by Judas that led to his death on the cross.

This production includes the well known numbers, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Could We Start Again, Please? And, Superstar.

The set consists of wooden scaffolding with the musicians visible on the different levels, with crosses featuring throughout the production from the large metal crucifix centre stage at the back of the set, and one on the floor creating a catwalk.

JCS review

Brightly lit crosses are also held by the ensemble during one of their numbers.

The costumes of the ensembles are modern but toned down as the focus is on Drew Mconie's choreography, which is more like a street dance, fast paced and imaginative from the start and works well with the bright lights and the set.

There are some imaginative uses of props, from the microphones stands that are made to look like staffs that the actors walk with and are then quickly flipped round when they sing and silver paint that covers Judas's hands following his betrayal of Jesus after he has reached into a chest full of money.

The paint remains for the rest of the show, signifying how Judas is tainted. However it is in the final harrowing scenes where already battered and bruised, writhing in pain, glitter is thrown over Jesus each time he is whipped, as it disperses and drops on the floor like his blood.

Director Timothy Sheader has done a fantastic job on this production as it feels modern and vibrant and the electric guitar and use of handheld microphones gives the appearance of a live rock concert.The ensemble are on stage throughout most of the show and do a fabulous job supporting the leads.

Ian McIntosh is brilliant in the lead role playing Jesus and has a superb vocal range as he works his way through an array of emotions until the final acceptance of his death.

Hannah Richardson as Mary Magdalene leaves us with a beautiful rendition of I Don't Know How To Love Him. While Luke Street as Judas shows the pain and anguish as he battles with his conscience.

One light hearted moment in this dark show is a camp Herod, played by Timo Tatzber, appearing in a gold cape and crown singing to the "King of the Jews".

The final scene of Jesus's crucifixion is gruesome, but captivating, with the ensembled dressed all in white in contrast to the blood stained body of Christ.

Jesus Christ Superstar is on at the Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent until Saturday, February 24 2024.