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  • Youth production of Godspell had spellbinding performances

    By Ron Ellis

    Godspell (The 2012 Revival)

    SDC Youth Theatre

    Little Theatre, Southport

    GODSPELL was first released in the Seventies in the age of rock operas like Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. For some unfathomable reason, it was resurrected as an updated version in 2012 making it more like a garage rave than a folk/hippie convention.

    An impressive set depicting an apocalyptic car scrapyard made an ideal playground for the cast to demonstrate their agility and youthful exuberance as they negotiated a series of acrobatic manoeuvres, carefully choreographed by Pippa Morris, some of which would not have been out of place in a circus ring. The timing of the dance moves was excellent.

    To bring it further up to date, references were made in the script to 21st century people such as Westminster comedian Boris Johnson.

    Eve McNamara and Lisa Carlin were in charge of the spectacularly colourful costumes which matched the frenetic tempo and slapstick nature of the show.

    Charlie McMullan starred as Jesus Christ, retelling the parables based on the Book of St. Matthew, in a series of knockabout sketches, with Tom McMullan in a dual role as John the Baptist and traitor Judas Iscariot.

    Martha Jenkinson, Ellie McKinnon, Charley Webster, Ben Ankers, Matty Higginson, Lucy Brindle, Eleanor Gillow and Harry Gascoine made up the rest of cast, backed up with 13 dancers.

    M.D. Chris Rimmer provided the piano accompaniment, which was augmented by three guitars, keyboard and drums, creating a booming crescendo of sound to compete with the relentless shouting as the disciples argued and celebrated in turn like partygoers high on speed.

    It must have been a nightmare to stage but, under the competent direction of John Delahunty, everything fell into place on the night.

    Definitely a young people’s version of the musical and as it ended, with Jesus on the cross, the disciples wandered off the stage one by one and the curtain came down. There was no resurrection and no curtain call.

    Star Rating: 6 out of 10. Extremely well performed but a manic conception.

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