Jesus Christ Superstar: non-binary actor stars as the Christ in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical

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Roza Stevenson takes lead role as non-binary Jesus in Sir Andrew Llod Webber adaptation

Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group (EUSOG) has produced a non-binary version of the original Jesus Christ Superstar musical written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice in 1971.

The new adaptation stars Roza Stevenson as Jesus with the 12 apostles played by female or non-binary performers, meaning they do not identify as male or female. The story centres around Jesus and Judas who in this production is played by a woman.

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In an interview with Tab, Roza said: “By casting the whole show gender blind, it really helps us focus on the core aspects of the characters and with the help of the fabulous production team, bring them to life.”

Students opened the show last night (24 January) at the Church Hill Theater and will run until Saturday 28 January.

Lloyd Webber Licensing granted permission for the production as long as the lyrics and pronouns weren’t changed.

According to the Daily Mail Creative director of the show Lew Foreman described the production as “gender-blind casting” in modern retelling of the ancient tale of love, betrayal, and tragedy.

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EUSOG (Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group) Rehearsal Photography by Jacob HoworthEUSOG (Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group) Rehearsal Photography by Jacob Howorth
EUSOG (Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group) Rehearsal Photography by Jacob Howorth | Photography by Jacob Howorth

He said: “’Jesus is remembered as being a man, but who are we to decide? It’s the same story and songs but the audience will view it from a different perspective.”

Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of The Passion. The story follows Jesus and Judas, who isn’t happy with the direction in which Jesus is steering his disciples.

The prodution will run from 24 January - 28 January for more information head over to their Facebook Page - EUSOG

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