Lyrics by Tim Rice

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by: Jo McNulty

M D: Allan Fouracre

Jesus Christ Superstar traces the last seven days of the life of Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. Judas fears that the compassionate movement with Jesus at its head has become a personality cult with many of Jesus’ statements being taken up and twisted by his followers. Jesus must be stopped! Jesus is regularly ministered to by a street woman, Mary Magdalen but what is worse, he is being hailed as the Messiah. Judas meets with the Priests of Judaea and resulting from the meeting agrees to betray Jesus for which he will receive 30 pieces of silver in payment. Meanwhile, Jesus preaches throughout the land offering riches in the after-life – but not here on earth.

Pontius Pilate, a Roman Officer, dreams of a strange Galilean whose path will cross his own and cause Pilate to be despised. Jesus throws out the traders in the Temple and has a last supper with his followers when he lets Judas know he is aware of the coming betrayal. At Gethsemane, Jesus prays for strength for the coming ordeal but also for the deliverance that he knows is not possible.

When Judas brings the soldiers to Gethsemane Jesus does not resist arrest. When he is brought before Pilate, he is recognised as the subject of Pilate’s own dreams. Pilate refuses to convict him and send Jesus to Herod. Judas, meanwhile, has committed suicide by hanging himself.

Back in Pilate’s court, Herod, too, has refused to convict Jesus, but the rabble insists. Jesus is convicted and crucified.

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A letter to the Company from Nick Lawrence  NODA SW Membership Secretary.

16th April 2010

Dear Friends,

You’ve done it again ! What a wonderful evening at the theatre!

Many congratulations to you all for another superb show.

From the lovely bazaar that welcomed us to the extremely touching final bars it was an evening to remember. You always manage to create the right atmosphere so that your audience is “in the mood” when the show begins,and this year was no exception. Then it was through the “bungalow” and across that fabulous flooring to ringside seats. Under Allan’s vibrant guidance the band struck up with those whining strains and the journey to the middle east was complete.

The company was completely focussed and committed enabling the audience to totally become part of the scene. Emotions ran high and the loud intake of breath from the lady opposite me when Judas committed suicide was proof of how involved we all became.

With Mike’s help, Joe’s conception was riveting, assisted by the company’s total involvement. All the characters were well presented and completely realistic. It is quite disturbing that a story that is 2000 years old was so relevant to the present day.

Congratulations to all the soloists who coped with the wide ranging vocal ranges with seeming ease, so passionately accompanied by the excellent band. The society’s choral tradition was very much in evidence with some powerful company numbers.

With everyone so committed to the reality of it all, “Acting” was not required and pleasantly absent. All characterisations from Pilate to the lepers were totally believable. Diana’s Mary at the Cross was most moving, and the excellent understatement of Jesus and Judas was most welcome. Passion when required, but no artificial gestures. An example to us all.

What I love about CODS is that you are not afraid to take on a challenge and run with it. You constantly make other societies look dull and unadventurous. Once again you challenged yourselves, your production team and your audience to step outside the comfort zone and provide really interesting live theatre. Fabulous. I can’t wait to be further challenged next year..

With best wishes,

Nick Lawrence

NODA South-West Membership Secretary.