By Stephen Schwartz

Book by John-Michael Tebelak

The Man Bryn Middleton
The Company Nigel Holloway, Caroline Robinson,
David Thurlow, Lorna Jones, Angie Dymott,
Kath Pepper, Mike Gaccon, Paul Reinhart,
Sara Viney, Debbie Fisher, Steve Davies,
Clare Davies, Kindre Morgan, Fiona Thomas,
Alex O'Brian, Liz Jardine, John Tomala,
Leigh Tomala, Clare Jones


Bryn et al


This immensely successful rock opera needs little introduction, but when it was first produced on Broadway in 1971 it broke new ground in its stage treatment of the historical Jesus Christ. Based on the Gospel according to St Matthew it deals with the last days of Jesus, and includes dramatized versions of several well-known parables. And yet it is something more - a religious experience, a demonstration of joy, and a celebration of the family of man. The show begins with the Voice of God declaring his supremacy: "My name is known: God and King. I am most in majesty, in whom no beginning may be and no end." The company enters and takes the role of various philosophers throughout the ages: Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Leonardo da Vinci, Edward Gibbon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Luther, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Buckminster Fuller. They sing fragments of their respective philosophies — first as solos and then in cacophonous counterpoint — in "Tower of Babble (Prologue)". The cast are conceived as clowns, improvising scenery and costumes, and using many well-known theatrical devices, pantomime vaudeville and varied musical styles to interpret one of humanity's greatest events.