Written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar first appeared as a double record album in October 1970. Totally original and full of energy, it had everything, from the majestic entrance into Jerusalem (Hosanna), the soul-wrenching cries of “Christ you know I love you” to the anguish and loneliness of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Producers who had previously been unwilling to take a chance on such a daring production were dazzled and the show eventually premiered, amid immense ballyhoo, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York in October 1971. The show was a huge box office success and ran for 720 performances.
In August 1972 the show opened in London’s West End and was an instant hit. By the time it closed, with 3,358 performances over eight years, it had become the longest running musical in London theatre history.
It has been reproduced regularly around the world in the 24 years since it first appeared and has been referred to as a milestone in musical theatre history. The recording of the show topped the American album charts three times.
Jesus Christ Superstar chronicles the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his disillusioned apostle, Judas Iscariot.
At the start of the play Judas agonises that Jesus’ followers have become fanatical, hailing him as the ‘Messiah’ and twisting his words into prophesies. In Judas’ mind Jesus is only a man – a man with failings like any other and Judas disapproves of his relationship with Mary Magdalene.
As support for Jesus grows and the crowd gets louder and more rowdy, the rift between Jesus and Judas grows. As Jesus’ behaviour becomes more erratic, losing his temper in the temple then begging to be left alone when a crowd of cripples surround him asking to be healed, Judas is more convinced that Jesus has lost control of the mob and that it must all stop.
Believing that what he is doing is for the best Judas goes to the priests and tells them where they can catch Jesus without risking violence by the mob. After leading the soldiers to Gethsemane Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss and Jesus is arrested and taken to Caiaphas, the High Priest. When some of the crowd recognise Peter he denies that he knows Jesus, just as Jesus said he would.
Jesus is taken before Pilate. As Jesus comes from Galilee, Pilate feels that this is a matter for Herod to resolve. Herod is infuriated when Jesus won’t perform any miracles in his defence and throws him out of his house.
With Jesus once again in a cell and severely beaten, Mary and the apostles see everything they had hoped for going horribly wrong. Judas realises that he will be blamed for all time for what has happened and in an anguished mix of despair and anger he hangs himself.
Once again Jesus is taken before Pilate who feels that Jesus has done nothing wrong but in answer to an increasingly angry mob, Pilate flogs Jesus 39 times. However this fails to appease the crowd and upon no helpful response from Jesus, Pilate condemns him. Jesus is crucified and the apostles are left to comfort each other and reflect upon the impact Jesus has had on their lives.
|Tim Reynolds(Jesus)Originally from Northern Ireland, Tim has been living in Barry for almost two years. Although he has been involved in various performing arts since childhood, this is his debut performance in an amateur dramatics company. When not performing with PUKKA, Tim is involved with his work at the Salvation Army and Barry Library, all while attempting to complete his Masters Degree!|
|Calum Small(Judas)Calum has been involved in theatre from an early age. He has performed in many shows with various amateur companies and his professional credits include ‘extra’ work on ‘Casualty’, ‘Only Fools and Horses’ and ‘Teachers’. He has also presented ‘Curriculum Bites’ which is currently shown on BBC learning zone. Calum hopes to continue into professional theatre and film work and is proud to be involved in this exciting production.|
|Suzannah Delaney(Mary)Suzannah is a 22 year old primary school teacher who currently teaches at Llansannor Primary School. She has been singing since an early age and has recently achieved her grade 5 in piano. Suzannah has worked tirelessly throughout this show as a member of the production team and has co-run PUKKA Petites. An extraordinarily talented singer, this is Suzannah’s first leading role in a musical, and PUKKA are delighted that she is making her debut in this show.|
|Matthew Penn(Caiaphus)Matthew is currently in his second year at Bristol Academy of Performing Arts studying Musical Theatre. Honoured to be asked to play Caiaphas in this first PUKKA production, Matthew hopes to continue on in musical theatre and perform in the West End.|
|Norman Binding(Annas)Norman was involved with amateur dramatics many years ago but considers the role of Annas to be the first serious role. He has some experience with pantomime and remembers, with some nostalgia, fencing on the same stage as JCSS rehearsals have taken place… what a nice return!|
|Benjamin Davies(Simon)Presently studying at Bristol Academy of Performing Arts, Ben has appeared in a professional production of ‘The Jungle Book’, as understudy of Mowgli. Other credits include ‘Hot Mikado’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Ben also went on a scholarship to ‘Arts Ed’ in London earlier this year.|
|Michael Bennett(Pilate)Michael has been involved in amateur dramatics for 5 years. Shoes include ‘A Century of Song’, ‘Me and My Girl’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. He studied BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts and hopes to study Musical Theatre in Drama College in London.|
|Rickie-Lee Arthur(Peter)Rickie is 17 years old and started his career with the Dolman Theatre at 15. He has played two leading parts, in ‘Grounded’ and ‘Scrooge’. He has now gone solo in his pop career, qualifying for two finals in London. He enjoys both singing and acting and is proud to be a part of this very moving production.|
|Alun Brown(Herod)Singing from an early age and currently a DJ in a local nightspot, Alun admits that entertainment has always been a major factor in his life… “it gives me a great feeling to make people laugh and smile”.|
|ApostlesRickie-Lee Arthur, Richard Patch, Alun Brown, Ben Jenkins, Michael Bennett, Calum Small, Sophie Taylor-Moore, Jodie Gould, Helen Evans, Samantha Boardman, Melanie Rodgers, Lauren Najjar|
|ChorusLaura Bates, Rose Bird, Bev Jones, Lucy Walklett, Dominique Aston, Judith Walklett, Alison Gilmore, Christine Roberts, Rhianne Davies|
|DancersCharlotte Hodgkinson,Amy Bruno, Jenna Sherrin, Louise Ball, Ashaa Davies, Rachel Shankland, Nicola Boyd-Anderson, Kellie Harrington, Sarah Jones, Jenny Hunt|
|PriestsCampbell Foster, Eric Coleman, Dave Hutton|
|SoldiersSteve Evans, Lee Arthur, Larry Lawrence|
|PUKKA PetitesLucy Dimond, Chaliese Anderson-Ludvigson, Sarah Bailey, Olivia Harris, Seren Evans, Megan Howard, Laura Owens, Rhia Dutton, John Miles, Rosie Ladner, Jordan Wilson, Georgia Graham, Rebecca Arcos, Elin Thickpenny, Carys Marshall, Bethan Thorngate, Catherine Roberts, Megan Punter, Charly Walker, Lydia Bennett, Sophie Owens, Aimee Delaney, Rowan Connell, Callum Connell, Jack Benlican, Frankie Benlican, Sophie Williams.|
Martin Hopkins Partnership
Barry Methodist Circuit
Amelia Trust Farm
Wyndham and Brian
Chas Hunt Printers
Two kind anonymous people who assisted financially
and believed in us from the start
The Make-up team
And all those people who helped make this happen
but still didn’t get a mention – sorry about that!