Posted 04 October 2012 - 02:57 PM
My thoughts on last night's JCSS. Copied from my post on Broadway World.
Last night I endured the tour of Jesus Christ at the CIA. I have to admit I expected to be ripped off, £75 for any ticket, wherever sat, £10 programmes, and I avoided the merch. stall but no doubt they were astronomical prices. Now, I'm fully aware that theatre shows these days cash in on whatever they can but, having the audacity to then make a theme of the show 'profits over people', it's like the producers having an inside joke at the audiences expense. As if, Jessie J took all those people who illegally downloaded 'It's not about the money' to court over loss of earnings. The signage was a mess, some logos an incorporation of the multi colour sign with a faded original logo, others an attempt to rip off banksy.
Most of this can be looked over though if you have a good night right? Well, unfortunately it was awful. THe sound was horrific - band so loud you often couldn't hear the ensemble singing, mics turned up so load the sound distorted, was actually painful and mic feedback on more than one occasion. The staging was minimalistic - pretty much what you get for an arena tour - but cheap, you had to wonder what the 1000's of £75 went on.
"Actors" - horribly mis-cast. Tim Minchin and Mel C mostly sang well no doubt (excluding the sound problems) but could not act the part - Mel C sang I don't know as if she was on tour with the spice girls, however, Minchin murdered his reprise of the same song with over acting and horrendous singing. Jesus was a wet fish, a whiney emo type that, if the real Jesus had been even remotely similar to, would make you wonder if it would kickstart a religion that lasts to this day. The worst case of miscasting. Chris Moyles - went off him a long time ago due to his ego but, if anyone could ham it up and camp it up to the nines it's him, but he so underplayed it that king herod was just not funny. The remaining characters were just okay, Pilates mate did a lot of screeching - i think someone told the cast that shouting equals acting/singing. The whole thing had one dynamic = fff.
The production to look at was cheap and tacky - profits over people is a bad thing says a show that rather then sending up the reality contest age, cashes in on it with a 50p text in with Lord or Fraud - tasteless and tacky - what ALW has become known for.
The crucifixion was just painful, and not just for Jesus. It is hard to do a death scene on stage, especially the crucifixion but this Jesus chose to whine and screech his death that you just willed it all to end.
I've never seen the show, I've seen the movie, but can't help to think it could be so much better than it was, especially for £75. All of this, people clapping and screaming when someone they knew walked on or did what they were paid to do, but whats worse is it got a standing ovations - i've been to some amazing theatre that people don't stand for yet they stood for this rubbish, some people deserve to be ripped off - I was among the only ones to remain sitting, I've sat for far more deserving shows show peer pressure would not make me stand for this.
The odd song was very good but apart from that I spent most the evening willing them to crucify the Christ so we could all go home - and i'm a christian!