Author: Katharine Carradus
What a superb production, full of excellent performances. Director Ed McGee treated the story of Jesus of Nazareth’s tumultuous last week of life with great sensitivity. Tony McGee was a tremendous Jesus, he really was a Superstar, and his singing was magical. ‘Gethsemane’ was beautiful and he conveyed the mental and physical suffering of Jesus which culminated in an incredibly worked crucifixion. Kimberley Fisher was perfect as Mary Magdelene, her devotion to Christ being very moving, bringing out all the emotions required, and her singing of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ was stunning. The Apostles led by Daniel White as Simon and Mark Stilwell as Peter gave good individual characterisations as the followers of Jesus. Peter McGuckin as Judas did well in this very difficult and unsympathetic role, and his demise was quite awesome. What can I say about the imposing high priest Caiaphas played by Paul O’Hagan, except brilliant, what a wonderful voice. He was ably supported by Annas (Stuart Buchanan), Priests and ensemble, they commanded the stage and also my complete attention with their singing of ‘This Jesus Must Die’. I did think that Graham Hawley as Pilate was very good indeed, and his musical number ‘Pilate’s Dream’ was one of the highlights of the evening. Daniel O’Hagan’s ‘Herod’ brought light relief from the tense build up.
This production had an outstanding cast, with so many sterling performances, the chorus were very good especially in the Temple scene and ‘Hosanna’, the Trial by Pilate / 39 lashes was very humbling and really made you wonder, it brought back memories of how it affected me when I took part in JCS.
What a beautiful set, I never guessed where the cross would be, so I was very impressed when everything unfolded (very clever). The costumes were good and also we had an excellent orchestra with good choreography, sound and lighting, all to be commended and which complimented the talent on stage.
This was a thoroughly entertaining evening and the audience certainly appreciated it. Congratulations and thank you.
Author: Katharine Carradus
What a delightful evening’s entertainment was in store for us all. The young cast sang their hearts out with enthusiasm and energy.
One of the first things to impress me when the curtains opened was the set, it was simple, colourful and how well it worked. ‘Joseph’ with all its many parts gives an opportunity for the cast to show off their individual talents.
I was very impressed with the two young ladies as the Narrators, these girls had strong clear voices, good diction and you could hear all the words which is so important, well done. Jacob played by Luke Collins looked the sensitive and gullible father that doted on Joseph. Jack McNicholas as Joseph looked confident and had good stage presence, his singing of ‘Any Dream Will Do’ was lovely, he also looked very regal when in his golden chariot. He got excellent support from all his brothers but I thought that Alex Murray as Reuben excelled, his singing of ‘Those Canaan Days’ was very special. The supporting cast had some cameo roles to play such as the Baker and Butler, well played by Bethany and Evie. Ameila Crawford and Nathan Little were well cast as the Potiphars. Daniel White as Pharaoh strutted around as ‘Elvis the King’.
All the younger children were well disciplined, they worked very hard and looked as if they were all enjoying themselves. Everything about this production was first class, I thought that the costumes were excellent, so colourful and not forgetting choreography, sound, lighting and what a lovely orchestra. Well done to everyone, especially the Junior Committee for all their hard work. Thank you.
Author: Katharine Carradus
This musical is a very challenging piece of theatre, the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyrics by Jim Steinman, are very complex and some numbers are awesome.
The story centres around three children in Louisiana who have recently lost their mother, their father Boon is struggling to bring them up, the children Swallow, Brat and Poor Baby and their meeting in a barn with a man they believe is Jesus. Little do they realise he is a fugitive, hiding in their midst and they vow to protect him from everyone, their innocence and vulnerability shines through.
Boone played by Graham Hawley was well cast as the widower doing his best to keep his family together. I thought he sang well and gave a heartfelt performance. Amos and his girlfriend Candy were extremely well portrayed by Kimberley Fisher and Peter McGuckin they both complemented each other with good acting and stage presence. Their rock number ‘Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts’ was quite outstanding. Swallow gave a lovely and sensitive performance, she sang all the taxing musical numbers with assurance and skill, very well done Jennifer Hawley.
Tony McGee as ‘The Man’ was fantastic, this is a difficult part to play, but his huge talent was there for all to see, he had a range of emotions from fury and anger to a tenderness not often seen, and his singing was quite splendid. In fact all the cast and chorus deserve praise as they all played an important part in the success of the show. I very much enjoyed Amelia and Jack as Brat and Poor Baby and team New Orleans, I heard just how good Sophie and Andrew were and team Baton Rouge. All the children were young characters and I thought that the nativity scene was well executed. The set was good, costumes were all of the right period, there was good lighting and sound and as always a super orchestra.
This was an excellent production, thank you Workington for an evening of theatrical enjoyment.
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