Members of the Paviors’ Music Section visited Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on 28 July to see a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The group enjoyed supper and drinks beforehand at the Regent’s Bar & Kitchen in the middle of the Park, just a short stroll from the theatre.
The theatre was constructed of steel over three floors, and the stage, shrouded in mist, was stark and eerie. The centre-piece was a huge steel crucifix laid on the ground. Musicians littered the set. The actors were dressed in contemporary funky clothing, hoodies and Doc Martens boots, with Jesus of course in sandals. This provided a very exciting setting. As twilight descended, the theatre became even more bewitching, with flames occasionally licking the sides of the stage, highlighting the drama.
The theatre was filled to capacity, with some members of the audience sitting on picnic blankets beside the seating area. The songs and dances were stirring, intense, but delightful. In particular, a rendition of l don’t know how to love him captivated the audience.
We sighed at Judas, who dipped his hands in a domed chest of money; his silver stained hands were a stark reminder of his betrayal for the rest of the performance. We flinched each time Jesus was flogged in dramatic fashion in hails of glitter. The suffering was tangible and realistic. The crucifixion was too harrowing for comfort, and in some respects, it was a relief when the denouement arrived.
The evening concluded with a standing ovation from many in the audience, demonstrating their appreciation of a wonderful musical performance in a magical setting.