With lyrics from Tim Rice (The Lion King) and music from Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats), Jesus Christ Superstar was destined for greatness. It opened on Broadway back in the 70’s and has continued to draw in the crowds over five decades. The latest UK showing of the rock opera was out in the open air in Regent’s Park theatre, and was met with overwhelming sell-out success in August 2016 that it extended its run to September 2017. Now the live tale of Jesus and his final days will be resurrected with a limited number of shows over July and August 2019 at London’s Barbican theatre.
The musical first began as a rock album, which meant the show is founded upon some of the best numbers. Reportedly, the concept was stimulated by Bob Dylan’s ‘With God on Our Side’ that refers to Judas in the penultimate verse. After listening to the song, Rice and Webber began creating the number one album. According to Ranker’s list of singability, the most popular include ‘Heaven on Their Minds’, ‘Superstar’, ‘Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)’, ‘What’s the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying’ and ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’. On reviewing the show at Regent’s Park, the show was described as ‘harnessing a festival vibe’ by LondonTheatre.co.uk, which seemingly credits the show’s musicality.
Check out the cast of production perform at the Olivier Awards ceremony in 2017 below:
It’s not only the songs that make Jesus Christ Superstar so spectacular; it’s premise is one of the most bold and groundbreaking, citing inspiration from the Bible as opposed to traditional literature and novels transformed for the stage. Importantly, the creatives assure that the play is ‘loosely-based’ on the religious text, alluding to the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. It also possesses central themes surrounding the relationship between Jesus and Judas in the build up to the emotional betrayal.
The new production vividly brings Jesus Christ Superstar to life. The Standard described returning director, Timothy Sheader’s, work as ‘distinct’ and ‘compelling’, where the production at Regent’s Park won an Olivier Award for ‘Best Musical Revival’ in 2017. His creative team also includes Tom Scutt (design), Tom Deering (musical direction), Drew McOnie (choreography), Nick Lidster(sound) and Lee Curran (lighting). The cast is still to be announced.
The Barbican will host the epic 2019 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar from 4th July – 24th August, before it crosses the Atlantic for a North American Tour. Tickets go on sale on Friday 16th November. Follow Jesus Christ Superstar below to get alerted when tickets become available.