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Jesus Christ Superstar


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#921 sambda

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:07 PM

View PostDistant_Cousin, on 28 September 2012 - 12:57 PM, said:

Can I just say one thing which is glaringly obvious to me.  The problem with JCS is the book.

I saw it at the Lyceum in 97 and at the o2 last weekend, and was discussing this with friends.

JCS assumes the audience know their Bible stories, and in particular this episode in the life in Jesus.

I had very little R.E at school, and didn't to Sunday school, hence I am not ashamed to admit I am pretty clueless.

Hence I've always felt on the backfoot with JCS, as background is not explained, character motivations and context of the story are only loosely referred to, and now both times I've seen it I am left with so many questions like:

Why did XXX do this/that?
Why did XXX think that about XXXX?

making it hard to really understand what the characters are all about ultimately!

Yes, but the motivations and that stuff aren't in the Bible.  All you'll get there is a telling of, "X went to Y and did Z."  That's really the point of the whole musical: pointing out what the motivations of the characters may have been, according to Tim Rice, with a modern slant on the thinking.  So I don't think that's something which would have really been covered in RE at school.

I would have thought the basic stuff about Jesus - getting the disciples together; Mary Magdalene = reformed prostitute; one of his followers - Judas - turns him in; politcal ping-pong between Pharisees, Pilate, Herod; crucifixion... is all general knowledge anyhow, for most people?  Don't know that and there's a gap in general education, I would have thought.

Having said that, the "plot" does come over much more clearly in the film version.  As I said, in this version I was more watching the spectacle than following the plot anyhow.

The original thing was already a double-decker sandwich - we have the historical events in vision, and a modern interpretation of the thought processes on the soundtrack.  What this new production tried to do was add a third layer to the sandwich - a modern updating of the visuals (while leaving the words alone).   That's just over-egging the cake a little.  And, yes, if this production was your first exposure to the JC story, you ain't gonna know what the frig is going on.

#922 Distant_Cousin

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

View PostSteve10086, on 25 September 2012 - 06:06 AM, said:

Thanks, that's the point I've been trying to make.  Am surprised people think the Gale Edwards tour is what had been staged at the Lyceum.  They really missed out!  Loved sitting in the 'tribune' seating at the back of the amphitheatre staging.  OK, so you only got to see the crucifixion from behind, but to be actually sitting IN the set of a West End musical was an amazing experience.

Yes, I remember the seating on the stage.  It was all earthy tones, and I guess a very tasteful, "organic" production.

If I'm honest I did prefer the current modern interpretation...

It's still the wonderful score of JCS which carries any production, IMO.

#923 Kathryn2

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:11 PM

View PostDistant_Cousin, on 28 September 2012 - 12:57 PM, said:

Can I just say one thing which is glaringly obvious to me.  The problem with JCS is the book.

I saw it at the Lyceum in 97 and at the o2 last weekend, and was discussing this with friends.

JCS assumes the audience know their Bible stories, and in particular this episode in the life in Jesus.

I had very little R.E at school, and didn't to Sunday school, hence I am not ashamed to admit I am pretty clueless.

Hence I've always felt on the backfoot with JCS, as background is not explained, character motivations and context of the story are only loosely referred to, and now both times I've seen it I am left with so many questions like:

Why did XXX do this/that?
Why did XXX think that about XXXX?

making it hard to really understand what the characters are all about ultimately!

This actually made me laugh out loud.

Say it quietly, lest it offend the religious types: none of it actually makes sense in the Bible, either. People just take the contradictions and absurdities on faith.

#924 MrTumnus

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:23 PM

Was at the Glasgow show on Tuesday. Thought it was very good overall, with a very few excellent scenes( Could We Start Again Please the best IMO) and a soul-less rendition of I Don't Know How To Love Him.

Jesus & Judas did well through-out. Pilate & Ciaphas were the best of the supporting cast. Mary was poor 1st half, good 2nd Act.

Staging simple but effective but we only had one central screen(don't know about other venues) so the audience at the sides that needed them the most saw the least. Unfortunately I missed the crucifixion due to a column of speakers hanging from the ceiling blocking my view. Three seats either side of me was fine so I guess I was just unlucky with my seats. Sound was well balanced and crystal clear.

The arena didn't have the intimacy of a theatre which certainly affected my enjoyment but I am glad I attended. A very good 7/10.
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#925 Ian

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:17 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-19769034

After 40 odd years you would have thought this was old hat - but apparently not. Religious intolerance, closing a theatre near you, soon!
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#926 wickedgrin

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:00 PM

Unbelievable in this "enlightened" day and age isn't it! Of course there were protests in London when it first opened. In some parts of the world unfortunately time has stood still. Let's not mention the middle east!!!!

#927 Rozzi Rainbow

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:50 PM

I am enjoying reading all these reviews as I am unable to go myself due to my local arena not having a matinee, and very bad public transport links at night. I don't think I really mind that I can't go though as I don't think I like the idea of it being set in the modern day. I saw a brief clip on our local news on Friday night - they were taking about Ben going back to his old school - and have just seen the curtain call photos on the main WOS site. I don't like Ben's costume or Mel's dreadlocks, they just don't look like Jesus and Mary M to me. When I've seen the show before I've liked how "Superstar" is set in the modern day, with Judas in modern costume as it's looking back over what happened, but can't see it working for the whole show. Does Judas still sing "If you'd come today you could have reached a whole nation" as that doesn't seem to make sense if the whole show is set "today"? It will be interesting to see what happens if this production does make the West End, as it seems so very different.
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#928 DanielWhit

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:22 PM

View PostIan, on 29 September 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-19769034

After 40 odd years you would have thought this was old hat - but apparently not. Religious intolerance, closing a theatre near you, soon!

Ah, but this is Russia, it seems to be they have stricter factions than most countries do these days.

#929 JonnyBoy

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:14 PM

I had an email that next Sunday's Manchester performance has had the start time put back from 730 to 800pm.  Anyone know why?

#930 Honoured Guest

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:19 PM

Any protesters will have time to attend Evensong beforehand.




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