The Wranglers, The Muse Theatre, 17th – 21st February 2015
The Wranglers present an updated ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. The inclusion of video footage at the back of the stage was an intelligent move as it left the audience considering what it would be like to have a messiah in the 21st century. The ensemble was powerful throughout, especially when performing the haunting melody during the second half of ‘The Temple’. They portrayed the cry of Jesus’ followers to be healed and his fear at not being able to help everyone.
Jack Higman as Jesus showed us some amazing vocal acrobatics. He portrayed raw emotions through his singing and by the end of the show his fear and desperation was heart breaking. Ben Davis as Judas contrasted with Jesus and showed equal desperation with his inability to comprehend that his betrayal of Jesus was planned from the start.
Sydnee Ponsford as Mary gave a beautiful rendition of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ which had the audience reaching for their tissues.
In complete contrast with many of the other numbers, ‘King Herod’s Song’ was as showbiz as it gets yet the audience was still under the actors’ command. We clapped when told to clap and ‘Ahhh’ed when told to ‘ahhh’.
The crucifixion scene is an impressive piece of theatre and involves a huge backlit cross. The Wranglers achieved this with the use of lighting rigs and hoisted Jesus off the ground in this spectacular feat of stage production.
The sound levels were not balanced at times and the addition of a trumpet to the orchestra would have been the perfect finishing touch.
Jesus Christ Superstar is a powerful piece of theatre. The Wranglers handled it well, leaving the audience emotional and in awe. We hardly clapped during the show due to being utterly transfixed by the actors and actresses.