The concert staging of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar runs August 14–September 27.
In order to meet social distancing guidelines, the 1,256-seat outdoor venue has been reduced to 390, so there are nine performances a week to make the production economically viable. The show will also be relayed to a giant screen on the venue’s lawn beginning August 19 and continuing through August 30. The lawn will be divided into individual areas for each ticket holder, ensuring social distancing. The relay will be filmed using five HD cameras, broadcast to an LED screen.
The roles of Jesus, Judas, and Mary have been double-cast (a schedule will not be confirmed in advance to allow for flexibility). Declan Bennett and Pepe Nufrio share the role of Jesus. Bennett originated the role in the Open Air Theatre production in 2016 and 2017. Nufrio appeared in the North American tour of the Regent’s Park production.
Tyrone Huntley and Ricardo Afonso alternate as Judas. Huntley won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Emerging Talent when he played the role in 2016 and subsequently earned an Olivier nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Afonso played Judas when the Open Air Theatre production transferred to the Barbican in 2019.
Anoushka Lucas and Maimuna Memon both reprise their Open Air Theatre performances as Mary, and the company also includes David Thaxton as Pilate, Shaq Taylor as Herod, Ivan De Freitas as Caiaphas, Nathan Amzi as Annas, Phil King as Peter, Cedric Neal as Simon, and Genesis Lynea, Rosa O’Reilly, Elliotte Williams-N’Dure as the Soul Singers. Completing the cast are Daniel Bailey, Dale Evans, Rosie Fletcher, Josh Hawkins, Stevie Hutchinson, Billy Nevers, Charlotte Riby, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Barnaby Thompson, and Tara Young.
Timothy Sheader directs with co-direction by Denzel Westley-Sanderson.
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Following two sell-out runs at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2016 and 2017, the Olivier– and Evening Standard Award–winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar played a season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (2018), a run at the Barbican Theatre (2019), and a three-year North American tour.
Casting is by Will Burton and David Grindrod, with lighting design by Lee Curran, musical supervision by Tom Deering, associate direction (voice and text) by Barbara Houseman, choreography by Drew McOnie, sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, set design by Tom Scutt after the set design for Evita by Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Tom Scutt, and fight direction by Kate Waters.
Executive Director William Village previously outlined some of the protocols to be implimented, saying, “The safety of our audience, performers, and staff remains of paramount importance to us, and we will follow government guidance meticulously. Measures to be introduced at our entirely open air venue include: reduced capacity, distanced performers, enhanced cleaning, one-way systems, mandatory face coverings, temperature screening, paperless and cashless systems, and multiple hand sanitizer stations.”
Jesus Christ Superstar: The Concert is produced by William Village and Timothy Sheader for Regent's Park Theatre Ltd by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group Limited.
(Updated August 14, 2020)