Ben Forster Wins Public Vote to Play Title Character in UK Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar
By Mark Shenton
Ben Forster has won the Andrew Lloyd Webber/ITV television search, "Superstar," to play the title role in the forthcoming UK arena stage tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The result, reached by public vote, was announced in a live telecast July 25. Rory Taylor and Roger Wright were the runners-up.
Forster, who is originally from Sunderland, trained at London's Italia Conti Academy, during which time he was featured in the BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary "The Dream Academy," before making his West End debut in La Cava at the Piccadilly Theatre. He subsequently appeared in the short-lived All You Need is Love at the Queen's Theatre, based on the Lennon and McCartney catalogue. He has also appeared in the West End as Doody in Grease and in Thriller Live, also appearing in the later on tour in South Africa, China and India.
He has written and produced a live album for an independent label that subsequently declared bankruptcy, before signing with K Entertainment, run by Nigel Lythgoe of "American Idol." Last year he released an EP with London-based label The Schizofrenicks.
The arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, which also features Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, former Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and Chris Moyles as Herod, kicks off at London's 02 Arena Sept. 21, before touring nationwide.
In a previous press statement, Lloyd Webber commented, "Jesus Christ Superstar began life as an album followed by a sell-out arena tour of the US. Our very first show was at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we played to over 13,000 people. Tim and I have always wanted to take Superstar back to its roots and we are both delighted that it will finally play an arena tour in the UK in venues where many of the world’s great rock acts have gone before. We're thrilled to have such great talent in the cast for the new show – they are all true ambassadors of UK entertainment. "
The production is directed by Laurence Connor. The show will be lit by Patrick Woodroffe and designed by Mark Fisher.
After London, the production will visit Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and Nottingham, before culminating in Sheffield Oct. 21.
To book tickets and for further details visit www.jesuschristsuperstar.com.
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