Open Air's Jesus Christ Superstar gets four & five star reviews

Open Air's Jesus Christ Superstar gets four & five star reviews

Updated On: May 1, 2018
By Nicki McIntyre
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    Jesus Christ Superstar opened last night at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre to four and five star reviews.

    With five stars, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts called Jesus Christ Superstar "the best show so far this year".

    "A must-witness version of the 1970 Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice opera... shorn of hippy excesses, infused with melancholy, this production is a work of rare mission and artistic merit - fantastic show".

    In praise of the cast, he said "Declan Bennett is superb as Christ. Tyrone Huntley demonstrates vast vocal range as an energetic, needy Judas. Cavin Cornwall's Caiaphas has a bass as deep as the Jubilee Line... King Herod's song is still camp but that is a moment of necessary comical relief. Much of the rest of it had audience members weeping."

    Jesus Christ Superstar also received four star reviews from The Telegraph, Evening Standard, The Stage, The Arts Desk, and The Guardian.

    The Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish declared, "Hallelujah!... praise-be is owed to Timothy Sheader for mounting a proper theatrical realisation... [this production] has been a long time coming. And doesn’t disappoint...You’d swear that this show is the one they’ll be playing millennia hence."

    With another four stars Fiona Mountford of the Evening Standard said, "delightfully, the Open Air Theatre makes this work soar... As we near the death of Jesus, the show bursts into magnificent life. Timothy Sheader offers some of the most stylish direction I’ve seen all year, sculpting each segment into something distinct, vivid and compelling... Exquisite."

    Tim Bano of The Stage wrote, "this big, brash production of the Lloyd Webber classic is pure X Factor." He also praised the "stunning" cast, specifically "Tyrone Huntley’s Judas is the superstar... played with a twisted, tortured ferocity."

    The Arts Desk's Alexandra Coghlan decribed it as "A classic musical reborn for a contemporary audience... a gritty new Jesus Christ Superstar that might just be the finest musical this venue has yet produced."

    The Guardian's Lyn Gardner called Jesus Christ Superstar "a gorgeous, thrilling, heavenly musical... It might not qualify as a miracle, but with help from choreographer Drew McOnie, designer Tom Scutt and a first-rate cast, director Timothy Sheader is turning water into top quality wine with his revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock musical."

    She continued, "this pared-back second coming is frequently heavenly, on one level a simple retelling of a familiar story, but on others a biting examination of religious and political fanaticism and state expediency... If you need any reminding how skilled British musical actors have become in recent years, this is an evening to persuade and cheer: the ensemble is terrific, and there’s not a weak link in the named cast. Tyrone Huntley is brilliant as Judas, Declan Bennett’s restrained Jesus has an unforced charisma, and Anouskha Lucas is a soulful Mary Magdalen. An expected and considerable pleasure that really rocks."