Review: Jesus Christ Superstar @ Lichfield Garrick

Lichfield Operatic Society’s Jesus Christ Superstar at the Garrick this week is a first rate production.

It’s quite some time since I’ve seen this Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber rock musical and it was good to hear the unforgettable songs so well performed.

But, unfortunately, in places, it was marred by the sound balance which left us, particularly in the opening sequence, straining to hear the sung ‘dialogue’ over the band.

Eoin Edwards as Jesus, Victoria Beck as Mary and Phil Bourne as Judas in Lichfield Operatic Society's Jesus Christ Superstar

Eoin Edwards as Jesus, Victoria Beck as Mary and Phil Bourne as Judas in Lichfield Operatic Society’s Jesus Christ Superstar

The story is told from Judas’ point of view, but Phil Bourne’s scene-setting at the beginning was, at times, lost, although his acting saved the day.

The sound problem was such a shame, as this was a superb production with a huge, enthusiastic cast who certainly gave their all.

Eoin Edwards’ Jesus was slightly understated, which I liked, and his scenes with Victoria Beck as Mary Magdalene were both clear and very moving. Pete Beck was commanding as Pilate – he strutted around the stage and we could hear every word. An extremely accomplished performance.

I must mention a couple of other principals – Michael Manser was deeply moving as Peter and, playing Caiaphas, Mark Johnson’s booming base sent shivers down the spine.

Last, but by no means least, Dan Anketell had the gem of a part, playing Herod, and threw himself into King Herod’s Song with great gusto, bringing some light relief to this rather dark story.

As we always expect with Lichfield Operatic, the ensemble were wonderful – some playing several parts.

The production team of director Lynn Hill, musical director Oliver Rowe and choreographer Charlotte Middleton were a winning combination once again.

Congratulations to all concerned. I look forward to Guys and Dolls in October.

Jesus Christ Superstar runs at the Garrick until Saturday (April 16). For tickets call 01543 412121 or visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

%d bloggers like this: