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 Supestar 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 last 2012.
Superstar was last staged by Ballywillan 10 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 Superstar 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.
Leading a cast of more than 80 people will be Richard Campbell in the title role.
Richard is well-known to local audiences, and has appeared for both Ballywillan and Portrush Music Society.
In 2012, Richard won the Best Musical Director award at the Association of Irish Musical Societies/HB Awards in Killarney.
Adam Goudy takes on the role of Judas – played by Tim Minchin in the arena tour. Adam has established himself as a stalwart of the Ballywillan cast, taking part not just in the musicals, but also in some of their summer theatre productions.
At some performances, however, Judas will be played by Alan McClarty, who is also the assistant director and played the same part when Ballywillan last presented it 10 years ago – the only person reprising their role this year!
Louise McClarty plays Mary Magdalene.
Louise has been performing in musicals and other productions since the age of 10, and last appeared for Ballywillan as Sister Berthe in the Sound of Music in 2012.
David Ferguson, Ben Levy, Richard Mairs, Maxine McAleenon and Kellyann McKillen complete the starring roles.
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 for Ballywillan, 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.
The musical retells the events of the final seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The subject matter is always treated with reverence and a great deal of respect.
To see Jesus’ final journey on earth is a wonderful spectacle to behold.
Superstar is a highly-charged piece of musical theatre which always attracts enthusiastic and emotional audiences.
Jesus Chris 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