Jesus Christ Superstar - BBLOC Review

There's a lot to be said about amateur theatre productions. You can see that they are full of passion and enthusiasm from every cast member on stage from the opening bars to the closing notes. There's something special about seeing people from your local community taking to the stage to share a show with friends, family and avid theatre goers. Every year BBLOC put on a show that can rival that of one on the west end, and this year's rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar was no exception.

Photo courtesy of Renouf Design
This rock opera based on the last week of Jesus' life before crucifixion is a hard show to pull off. Vocally it stretches and challenges every cast member and for a show with very little dialogue, it's a fast paced one too. But let me tell you that it didn't phase this cast one bit. Ever the professionals, this group of actors could have walked straight off the west end stage. In fact, as I was leaving I heard an audience member tell a friend that she wished she hadn't purchased tickets for the current west end revival as BBLOC's performance was so good!

The principals and ensemble were nothing less than brilliant. Taking direction from Helen Barrington (who directed previous BBLOC hits amongst other things) the cast performed each song with roaring applause and stunned the crowd with amazing visuals that I don't want to spoil for anyone going to see the show. With high energy from the moment the music started, you couldn't help but feel swept away in the emotion of the whole show and I was glued to my seat throughout. Even with a technical hitch in the second half, you couldn't help be sit transfixed through the whole show.

Matthew Traher did a stunning performance as Jesus wowing the audience with his vocal range in songs such as Gethsemane and The Last Supper. His songs with both Judas and Mary showed the audience just how fantastic his stage presence was and his crucifixion scene was visually stunning. It left the audience gasping! Kirstie Rogers blew me away as Mary Magdalene with her soft yet powerful portrayal with songs such as Everything's Alright and I Don't Know How To Love Him.

But the star of the show had to be Judas who was played by Charles Michael Duke. You could say I'm biased as he's a friend of mine, but even the audience agreed that he was beyond outstanding. Belting out each and every word, you could feel the passion and emotion in his voice. His rendition of Judas's Death was simply stunning and visually brilliant. For someone that only a year ago was recovering from a double lung transplant, it was amazing to see just how far he had come to get back on stage. If you want one reason why organ donation is so important, then watching his performance in this show is it!

Overall Jesus Christ Superstar is a fantastic show from start to finish. Leaving the theatre knowing you have watched an amateur cast really makes you wonder if the west end need to up their game as these guys have truly stunned local crowds! BBLOC never fail to put on an utterly brilliant show year after year. All I can think now is how will they top it next year? Only time will tell.

Tickets can be purchased here:

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