JESUS has been pretty busy lately. Following on from his Easter celebrations, the King Of The Jews’ second coming at the Playhouse sees JC unearth his rock-star alter-ego.
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Written during Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s early hippy days, everything is cool until Judas decides Jesus is getting a bit too big for his eponymous sandals.
Directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright, ancient and modern clash in this new production and at times there are sound issues.
Despite the setbacks, though, there’s much to like.
The gigantic Crown Of Thorns suspended as a halo above the stage is an impressive sight. Cavin Cornwall deep, low-resonating voice is captivating, and Jonathan Tweedie, a last-minute stand-in for the indisposed Rhydian Roberts, is an unexpected highlight as Pontius Pilate.
Unlike many of the characters, Tim Rogers has no problem displaying the full range of emotions as back-stabber Judas. His best pal, Jesus meanwhile is played effortlessly by Glenn Carter.
King Herod’s camp nipple-tassel scene aside, there’s very little in the way of humour in this production - okay, so the tale of the crucifixion shouldn’t be played for laughs, but some comic relief could be injected.
To be fair, though, the crucifixion is the most atmospheric scene of the piece. Ethereal, moody, it’s a stark contrast to Judas’ Alvin Stardust impression - whereby Iscariot and some scantily-clad dancers get their groove on as Jesus lies at their feet. Told you it was a mixed bag.
Musically, the seventies funk-rock sound track holds up well.
Run ends Saturday