7-11 April 2015
Reviewed by Dawn Watson
As a massive fan of both musicals and Andrew Lloyd Webber I was delighted to have the chance to review a rock musical that I first saw with my parents at the Edinburgh Playhouse in my teens. I was keen to see it again as I remember loving it all those years ago.
The original show ran in London for an incredible 8 years from 1972 – 1980, still to this day proving to be one of the longest running shows ever at the West End. For a show that really started its true life as an album and tour in America this was a sign of an amazing show.
We were lucky to have superb seats in the circle allowing us to feel the atmosphere brought to life by the fantastic modern staging, lighting and stunning orchestra.
Judas tells us the story of this modern tale of the Easter story, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ through song and dance and through his eyes… Judas was concerned at his friends growing popularity, after all he was ‘just a man, not the son of god’. He was worried Jesus was seen as a threat to the Roman Empire. Mary Magdalene, played magnificently by Rachel Adedeji, a former X-Factor finalist, falls in love with Jesus much to Judas’s unhappiness; after all she was a prostitute. Jesus’s popularity grows and consists of many Jews, who were unwilling to accept the Roman’s as their rulers. The story continues with the priest, led by Caiaphas, threatened by Jesus, worried he was a threat to both the Roman Empire and the priesthood. Jesus was ordered to be captured, tortured which would lead to his death. Judas betrays him and shows the Roman soldiers where he is… how can he live with his guilt?
The story is a modern Easter story brought to life by the superb casting of the shows performers. The stunning performances of some of my favourite songs – Don’t Know How to Love him, Hosanna, Heaven on their Minds and of course the well-known ‘Superstar’ had the audience in the palm of their hands and at times on the edge of their seats, I could feel the hairs standing on the back of my neck during the last scene – simply stunning!
I have to say though Judas played by Tim Rogers blew me away, I was with him and felt his pain, upset, anger and sadness his performance was so passionate, you could hear gasps and sobs throughout the audience as they too were carried along on his journey. His singing was incredible. And the final scene wow… The crucifixion… tense, upsetting, but beautifully done and captured by the wonderful talent of Glenn Carter who played Jesus with much passion.
This show runs until Saturday 11 April at the Edinburgh Playhouse, take time out you won’t be disappointed. Please note this is not the arena tour which was performed by other actors in larger venues, this is more intimate, captivating and truly stunning.
The Edinburgh Playhouse is easily accessible by train, bus stop virtually outside and car, with ample parking nearby. The Playhouse itself is also accessible.
My friend and I hummed the tunes all the way home… we were captivated and we loved it!
A huge 5* for this stunning performance, with special mention to the orchestra and band who truly captured the atmosphere with their beautiful performance of the musical score.
Tickets cost from £17.90 to £48.90 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Jesus Christ Superstar is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 11 April 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3014.
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18–22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA | 0844 871 3014