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Not the most obvious choice for a musical, Jesus Christ Superstar tells the story of the last seven days of Jesus, through the eyes of Judas. It starts with his increasing and sometimes dangerously overwhelming popularity among the people, through Judas’ betrayal and onto Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.

The musical was released in 1971 and is the brain child of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was described as groundbreaking for the time, and is an interesting mix of opera and rock - two genres you wouldn’t think would work together, but they really do!

Fast forward to 2024 and the packed audience at the Bristol Hippodrome show that the musical is still just as popular today.

Ian McIntosh gave a very powerful performance as Jesus. In his final moments you could see the torture on his face, and there was not a sound in the audience as people sat transfixed. His voice echoed hauntingly through the auditorium and his rendition of Gethsemane in particular gave me goosebumps, as he portrayed Jesus’s inner turmoil over whether to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Standing alongside him as Judas was Shem Omari James. The dynastic between him and McIntosh was impressive to see. He did an excellent job of showing the conflict Judas felt, and his feelings during and after his betrayal. The raw emotion was clear to see, and the poignant ending with Jesus and Judas sitting side by side looking at each other reduced the audience to a silence that lasted a while, before the rapturous applause.

Another stand out performance came from Hannah Richardson as Mary. She provided the softer moments, especially during one of the more well known songs from the show I Don’t Know How to Love Him. Here we really felt her love and devotion for Jesus.

Throughout the whole performance the leading characters were supported beautifully by the ensemble. Moving effortlessly together in the impressively choreographed routines they greatly added to the overall look of the show.

The set was one of the more simple ones I have seen, but one that entirely complemented the show. Throughout the performance the large crucifix loomed in the background, an ominous reminder of the eventual ending.

Jesus Christ Superstar doesn’t ask for you to be religious to enjoy the show. With the varying soundtrack and energy of the performers it has something for everyone, no matter your views or beliefs. I highly recommend this show, and judging by the standing ovation given by the audience I think they would agree!

Laura Durrant


  • The musical runs until Saturday, March 16. Online tickets from £23 plus booking fee HERE

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Jesus Christ Superstar

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