Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hugely successful arena tour of the hit rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar is almost at an end in Australia, with one final performance scheduled in Brisbane on Tuesday night.
So how has the show been received Down Under?
A glance at the press reviews tells you all you need to know. Aussie- born Tim Minchin, playing the role of Judas, was always going to be welcomed wholeheartedly and popular TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe was a perfect choice for the role of King Herod. But the British cast members have also been getting their fair share of the plaudits.
Ben Forster, winner of ITV’s Superstar show in the UK excels in the title role as Jesus. Critics have been full of praise for his performances:
‘absurdly talented’ – The Age
“Forster’s versatile voice is thrilling and impassioned singing the rock anthem, Gethsemane, but he is equally compelling singing ballads with subtlety.” – Herald Sun
“Newcomer Ben Forster is Jesus. Forster has had roles in the London productions of Grease and The Rocky Horror Show. He has a big job. Forget the turning water into wine part. That’s easy. Forster has to turn the 14,000 punters in the audience into satisfied concert-goers and he does that with ease.” – Noise 11
“Minchin, Forster and Mel C can all seriously, and I mean seriously sing. Some of the notes that UK singer Forster held were nothing short of ridiculous, cue several mid-showing standing ovations.” – Take 40
“His Jesus is powerful, emotional and a star-making performance.” – Australian Stage
Melanie C has been similarly well-received:
‘voice beautifully showcased throughout’ – The Age
“Mel C’s ‘Everything’s Alright’ solo was spot on.” – Take 40
“The biggest surprise (for me, anyway) was the impressive Melanie C (or Melanie Chisholm) as Mary Magdalene. Best known as a former Spice Girl, and with the only female principal role in the show, she holds her own and delivers a standout performance. Her biggest solo number, the famous I Dont Know How To Love Him is sung so well and in a manner that no one previously had done. Not an easy feat for anyone to make something so familiar their very own.” – Australian Stage
“And former “Sporty” Spice Girl Melanie C absolutely blitzes her big number, I Don’t Know How To Love Him, bringing a more raw rock edge to the bridge before hitting the final big notes right out of the arena.” – Adelaide Now
Links to a selection of the reviews can be found below:
Ben also spoke to the Australian media about his childhood ambition to play the role:
In the limited time they have between shows, the cast have been getting to know their surroundings, most recently taking a trip to Australia Zoo in Queensland.
The arena tour returns to the UK in October.