Review: Chesterfield Operatic Society in Jesus Christ Superstar

Power and glory for ever and ever - that’s what Chesterfield Operatic Society deserves for its best production in years.

The company made a triumphal entry at the Pomegranate Theatre last night (Tuesday), performing Jesus Christ Superstar to a 300-strong audience.

Jesus Christ Superstar, presented by Chesterfield Operatic Society

Jesus Christ Superstar, presented by Chesterfield Operatic Society

This awe-inspiring and heart-rending production proved the society is up to the challenge of an epic rock opera.

Charting the last week in Jesus’ life as seen through the eyes of his betrayer Judas, the passion and pain were vividly portrayed by the talented cast. The audience was swept along on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows, from the colourful followers who hung on the Messiah’s every word to the mob baying for blood.

Craig Arme achieved his aim of bringing Jesus the man to the fore, displaying human traits of anger, despair and pain as the Son of God despatched the sinners from the temple, was overwhelmed by hordes of sick people who he couldn’t cure and was wracked with pain as he lay dying. His heart-rending screams as the crown of thorns was placed on his head and nails driven into his hands sent shivers through the audience.

Andy Quinn pulled off a tremendous performance as tortured soul Judas with powerful singing which managed to rise above the volume of the music which was slightly too loud for his scene-setting solo Heaven on their Minds.

The loveliest songs in the show were owned lock, stock and barrel by Georgina Bailey playing Mary Magdalene, her sweet voice doing justice to I Don’t Know How to Love Him and Everything’s Alright.

Davron Hicks commanded the stage in the role of the omnipotent Pontius Pilate, Andrew Davie brought a touch of light relief as gold-suited Herod singing King of the Jews accompanied by glamorous dancers and Neil Yewman and Danny Winson as the High Priests circled like ravens closing in for the kill.

Jesus Christ Superstar, directed by Phil Simcox with musical direction by Jonathan Davies and choreography by Paula Wilson, continues its run at the Pomegranate until Saturday, April 30.