Social Media

Jesus Christ Superstar - Nottingham Review

Reviewed by Elle Milford
Disclaimer: tickets were gifted in return for an honest review

A rock opera telling the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and Judas’ betrayal.

A musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber that focuses on one of the most famous and well known stories from the Bible. With clever choreography and vocal gymnastics it is definitely one I was grateful to experience.

Ian McIntosh plays Jesus with some serious skill in the vocal department. Ian's voice effortlessly tackles some insane notes within songs like “Gethsemane”, oozes charisma in songs like “What's the Buzz/Strange Thing, Mystifying” with a voice that runs smoothly over the ensemble's backing. Ian is mesmerizing to watch and makes it believable that Jesus’ followers trust him to lead them. This is a role that makes Ian and the music shine.

Shem Omari James as Judas is a revelation. A sultry toned voice that gives sincerity and vulnerability but with an element of fun when needed. The character felt almost like a narrator coming in to make sure we knew what was happening, within songs such as “Heaven on Their Minds” and “Everything's Alright”. The expression that Shem was able to portray throughout songs such as “Damned for All Time/Blood Money” and “Judas’ Death” made you really believe that Judas had regrets and betrayed Jesus because he believed it was the right thing to do at the time. “Superstar” was a stand out performance within the production and reminded us of why this musical is so iconic.

Pilate, played by Charlie McCullagh felt like a superb casting and shows a reason why understudies deserve just as much recognition as any other cast member, with strong vocals and a sense of power he gave Pilate strength and tensity whilst also showing a merciful side towards Jesus. Mary Magdalene, played by Hannah Richardson, brought a sense of gentleness and calm with moments during “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” that really shone on how she felt towards Jesus and his teachings. A special mention to Francis Foreman who covered the role of Caiaphas for the first time on the tour, Francis smashed this role and held those low notes so well that it felt almost dark and menacing. 

The set designed by
Tom Scutt was breathtaking featuring the traditional theme of scaffolding but also included a giant cross positioned downstage, which would later be used as a platform for the cast, felt almost as though the cross had fallen out of place with the cross upstage used as an entrance and exit. Another thing that elevated this performance was the choreography by Drew McOnie that felt almost ritualistic and cult-like which felt as though it showed not only the power Jesus holds but also the reliance the followers have on Jesus, and felt compelling to watch. 

What started as a religious story of Jesus and his crucifixion, became a honest, raw and clever version of such a well known biblical story, directed by Timothy Sheader, that conveyed strong themes of trust, betrayal and belief. It felt compelling and fresh and kept the audience drawn in.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Jesus Christ Superstar plays at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 13th January 2024. Tickets are available from The tour continues with dates currently booking until August 2024. Visit for full tour dates and booking information. 

Post a Comment


Theme by STS