THIS month the North Coast will resound once more to the wonderful music of Andrew Lloyd Webber when Ballywillan Drama Group present the iconic musical Jesus Christ Superstar in the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine.
This will be the first production in Northern Ireland since the highly successful Superstar Arena Tour visited the Belfast Odyssey in October 2012.
Superstar was last staged by Ballywillan ten years ago but this is a completely new realisation of the show. Totally revamped and updated this stage show really will be a must-see event.
Ballywillan have been planning the production since last February when all contracts were signed and exchanged. Director, Brian Logan, and Musical Director, Eric Boyd, have been busy designing the new show, updating the orchestrations and working with Lloyd Webber’s production company, The Really Useful Group, to ensure the Northern Ireland production meets their exacting standards.
Maxine McAleenon plays Caiaphas- The High Priestess. Maxine is not the only member of her family onstage in this show… She is mother to Richard playing Jesus, and her daughter is also in the chorus. Another member of the chorus is related to her as well.. Her new Daughter in Law Catherine!
She is ably supported by Ballycastle’s own Kellyann McKillen. Kellyann has been involved in theatre for a long time, and has even had a part in New Zealand soap Shortland Street in which she played a nanny. This is Kellyann’s first appearance with Ballywillan.
The Apostle Peter is played by Richard Mairs, another newcomer to the Ballywillan stage. Richard last appeared at the Riverside in Portrush Music Society’s production of Hot Mikado.
Ben Levy plays Simon at most performances (when Alan McClarty is playing Judas, this part will be played by Adam Goudy). Ben has an excellent background in Musical theatre and this summer masterminded the production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Riverside.
David Ferguson plays Pilate. David was a member of the original Ballywillan cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, when he played Peter. Since then he has played many leading roles with Ballywillan, and is a firm favourite with Riverside audiences.
Oliver Doone plays Herod. This role which ahs been played by the likes of Rik Mayall and Chris Moyles is full of character and fun- both of which Oliver manages to bring to his performance.
The creative team behind the show is Brian Logan (Director), Sharon Logan (Choreographer) and Eric Boyd (Musical Director). Brian is assisted by Alan McClarty as Assistant Director and Eric By Andrew Robinson as Assistant Musical Director.
Brian Logan, is also Ballywillan’s Set and Lighting Designer. His set for SUPERSTAR is an awe-inspiring Roman Amphitheatre of multi-levelled tiers and archways.
The set is so big that the Riverside’s stage space has been taken right back to the building’s walls to accommodate it! Ballywillan’s sets are always outstanding and this is no exception.
Sharon Logan, who is responsible for Musical Staging and Choreography, in conjunction with Ewan Campbell from Utopia Costumes in Scotland have designed a completely new set of costumes for this production.
No costumes exist in the UK for the innovative way the show is being presented and much work has gone into the planning of the hundreds of costumes required.
The Arena Tour which toured the UK, Ireland and Australia and which starred Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Chris Moyles was seen by hundreds of thousands of people and also introduced the musical to a new legion of fans. Whilst not permitted to copy the staging or presentation of the Arena Tour in any way, Ballywillan are bringing the famous show right up to date in their own innovative and clever way.
Jesus Christ Superstar is now booking at the Riverside Theatre on 028 70 123 123 or book on-line at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk. The musical runs from Thursday, January 16 to Saturday, February 1 with evening and matinee performances. There is also an attractive range of ticket offers and concessions.
To learn more about the show, cast and crew and also have a chance to win some tickets check out Ballywillan Drama Group on facebook.com/Ballywillan; on twitter @Ballywillan or visit www.ballywillan.com