DRYBURN THEATRICAL WORKSHOP
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR REVIEWS
Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970’s rock opera which tells the story of the last few days in the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot. For me this is probably one of the most difficult and moving show to be performed by any group but, in the capable hands of director Michelle Coulson, she was able to turn this rock classic into a spectacular piece of art which was both moving and well-staged. Music was in the capable hands of the Musical Director John Hudson and his five piece band; these talented musicians backed the singers without overpowering them and delivered some of the most beautiful music ever written. The choreography was outstanding in the capable hands of Helen Wilson who ensured the cast delivered high quality moves with the energy displayed only serving to heighten the tension of the story. Whilst the set was kept extremely simple it allowed the audience to concentrate on each individual performance and I particularly like the projection of Jesus’ life during the overture. Special mention must also go to Martin Warden and Craig Holt for the superb sound and lighting which supported and enhanced the many difficult and moving scenes. Costumes looked authentic and it was obvious that a great deal of time had been taken to create the overall effect and staging of this production.
With over 40 characters and chorus on stage it is difficult to mention everyone but the emotion and characterisations from all the cast certainly brought this production to life and was a great testament to the hard work that must have gone into the whole of this production .
The story was narrated by Judas played by Joseph Coulson; he delivered a dynamic and totally convincing performance, not an easy part to play due to the complicated musical numbers but as ever he gave 100% and delivered his musical numbers well. I particularly enjoyed “Heaven On Their Minds” and “Superstar” accompanied by the soul girls and angels. Ian Bianchi gave a passionate portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth; excellent vocals which lit up the songs with feelings of emotions. His song “Gethsemane” was beautifully delivered and matched his acting. The scene where he was subjected to the 39 lashes prior to his crucifixion was well delivered and emotional as he drew the audience in until the cross was lifted into place the whole image being enhanced by stunning lighting which created a magnificent ending to the show. Lucy McCabe as Mary Magdalene gave a strong performance some great acting and delivered one of the most iconic numbers ”I Don’t Know How To Love Him” beautifully showing great empathy to her character. The priests led by Grayson Wood as 'Caiaphas' and Lawrence Clark as 'Annas' delivered menacing characterisations as their hatred towards Jesus grew throughout the show - again they delivered their musical numbers well as did Adam Donald as Pontius Pilate who struggled with the decisions and torment he found himself in but great acting and loved his number “Trial by Pilate”.
Impressively leading the 12 disciples with great vocals was Phil Martin as Simon and Gary Eglinton as Peter - I loved the number between Peter, Mary and cast ”Could we start again please”. In such a dark story a little comic relief is always welcome and the very camp Herod beautifully played by Lee Passmoor delivered all the laughs when he delivered his sassy rendition of King Herod’s Song.
Dryburn Theatrical Workshop delivered a wonderful production which had a terrific balance of a classic rock performance, heartfelt emotions and wicked choreography well done to all the cast and management team for a superb performance.
Author: Peter Oliver
“I went to see this show tonight and i was so pleased to see a packed house and the support for our local group, THIS WAS AN OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE by everyone and some lovely music in there to, i could not mention anyone as you all did fantastic and as usual no one was let down, First half over and after a short break we returned for the second half WOW WOW WOW i was blown away it just got better but it was so moving and made the hair stand up on my neck, what first a first class performance from everyone there tonight it was all made to make us all feel that Jesus was feeling the pain as much as we did for him, if you missed this one you missed a fantastic show, look out for the next show and come long i know you will not be disappointed, 100% BRILLIANT!”
“An absolutely stunning performance tonight! Myself, partner, and children were mesmerised throughout and want to say a huge well done! You were amazing. I've seen the national production of the show twice previously and can honestly say that your show tonight was the best I've ever seen. Congratulations to each and everyone of you. Superb!”
“Really enjoyed last nights performance. ....I was a little dubious at first as wasn't sure if it would be my 'cup of tea' But the performances I have seen, have been great, so knew it would be a good show, and I wasn't wrong. Excellent production, traumatic at times! Well done to everyone involved. Looking forward to the next one.”
“Fantastic show, Fred. Don't think I'm overstating too much when I say it's probably the best all round am show I've seen in a long while. Absolutely worth the ticket price and coming out wanting more. A very talented (young) cast who will have gained so much from those around them. A very emotive subject beautifully and dramatically handled. Well done to all involved.”
“I am struggling to find the words for Dryburn Theatrical workshops 'Jesus Christ Superstar,which we saw tonight. I was totally blown away. It was moving,uplifting and inspirational.Thanku for a really wonderful night that affected me and made me really happyxxxYour an incredible groupxxx”
“Well done on another great performance. My mam and I enjoyed it. The group is very talented with some good actors, singers and dancers.”
“That was something else!!! Well done once again to you all! Jesus was phenomenal. Lucy....what an amazing voice you have. Joe brilliant Judas performance! Never been a favourite of mine this show but hats off to you all-you changed my mind-brilliant!!!...if not a little traumatising at the end! (Ask my mam I was sobbing!)”
“Wow...what else can I say... An amazing production, so much feeling and emotion. Totally blown away. You were all fantastic, everyone one on the stage and back of stage. Well done guys.”
“We really enjoyed Jesus Christ Superstar last night. A lot of work & commitment has obviously been put into it. Well it certainly paid off. A big commendation to everyone involved in the production. Well done everybody everywhere, from front of house, band, stage crew etc.”
“A gentleman came to me tonight. He stopped me to say he had been to many many theatre performances both professional and amateur over many years but this was the one and only time he has been left speechless. He said it was the most amazing show...”
“We both throughly enjoyed Jesus Christ Superstar on Friday night. You have all obviously put a tremendous amount or work & effort into this production. Well done to everyone involved from front of house, lighting, sound, band, stage crew etc. Right through to performers, MD & producer. Once again WELL DONE TO EVERYONE.”
“Very much enjoy last nights production. As always the principles, chorus, the staging and the sound/lighting were superb. Having been in several DTW productions, it's like a family reunion when we travel from sunny Dorset to see a show. Thanks again for a great night.”
“Wow what a show !! absolutely brilliant !! fantastic music !! fantastic show !! fantastic cast !! very powerful ending, had tears in my eyes Well done to everyone, enjoy the rest of your week, and as usual looking forward to the next show xx”
“Well done to Dryburn Theatrical Workshops for their production of JCS - raw emotion wrapped up in one spectacular performance.”
“Many congratulations to all at Dryburn Theatrical Workshop for a brilliant production of ' Jesus Christ Superstar' it was great and everyone played their parts well. Well done to Michelle, John and Helen on a job well done. A special mention to Martin and Craig of Hi Lights for brilliant lighting and sound which really complimented the actors.”