JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

“Jesus Christ Superstar, the global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for 40 years, had a ‘rocky’ start with Rice & Lloyd Webber unable to sell the idea of a rock opera based on the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. It was only after a concept album was released – which sold spectacularly well and topped the American charts three times – that a stage production became possible. Jesus Christ Superstar opened on Broadway on October 12, 1971 to condemnation from some religious groups. Protesters picketed the show every night while fans poured in. The production ran for 720 performances… 

Over the years, numerous productions have evolved the piece by experimenting with different facets whilst still maintaining its core theme and intent. This version is certainly no different. I wanted to examine more of an overarching look at how history and humanity repeats itself throughout the ages. How one person (or in cases like we see today and in the not-so-distant past – a whole group or race of people), can be vilified out of fear mongering or simple power play over a populace. How some politicians and religious groups can use their influence to steer a populace to their own version of what morality or values should look like. In this version, we have one Man. A Man who can perhaps help and lift a nation or a world, but due to fear and power struggles, those in power skew the Mob to turn against him. History repeating itself, over and over again…

We then looked at a time when the world may just need this Man again. With this broader theme residing over the piece, we took a closer examination of some central relationships. Away from the various bible translations and gospel texts and interpretations therein (of which there are many), we could discover a new focus on the relationships between Jesus, Judas and Mary. Explore more of a “what if” rather than a strict “what was”. I want to wholeheartedly thank the entire CLOC company for allowing us to explore this “what if” version. Through the numerous raised eyebrows and quizzical looks, the entire team has been supportive of a fresh take on a much-loved classic. To each department: Set Construction, Props, Costumes, Lighting, Crew, Orchestra, Sound, Marketing – thank you for your expertise and professionalism. To the wonderful cast, thank you for your dedication, talent and the more than normal amount of craziness. To the team which has somehow agreed to come along with me on yet another production: Tyson, Tamara and Sallyanne, I again thank you for your skill, insight and support.”

Shaun Kingma Director

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