Jesus Christ Superstar Musical (Kings Theatre Glasgow) 2023 : Review

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Performance: The Regents Park Open Air Theatre Production

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I purchased tickets to “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow as soon as I saw they were on sale, a musical I’ve seen more times than I can count.

Steve Balsamo and Glenn Carter, who have portrayed Jesus in previous performances, left a lasting impression on me. Steve’s beautiful voice and solid acting always stood out, but Glenn Carter, for me, takes the crown. His exceptional acting and singing consistently wowed the audience, and I remember the poignant moment during “Gethsemane” when tears welled up all around the theatre.

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However, this time, as soon as the curtains rose, it was evident that this rendition was unlike any I’d seen before. The entire cast seemed to have raided Zara for their outfits, with some rocking hoodies and trainers, giving the show a modern, streetwise vibe. This fresh take intrigued me, even though I didn’t spot any familiar faces playing Jesus. I reminded myself that I was here for the music I love.

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The staging was unique, with lighting setting the mood beautifully. However, I found the numerous changes to the original screenplay slightly disorienting. It became clear that this was a complete reinvention. I embraced this new visual experience while holding on to the beloved music.

This reinvention indeed had its merits. The use of microphones was innovative, but it occasionally stole some of the intimacy from the performance. When Jesus picked up a guitar during “Gethsemane” it shifted the focus away from the emotions. But let me tell you, the actor portraying Jesus had a remarkable voice. The audience was left in awe when he eventually put the guitar down and gave his all. The latter part of the song lacked the emotional connection I had seen in previous performances due to the guitar distraction, but his voice alone was enough to move mountains.

As the show ended, I overheard mixed reviews while leaving the theatre. Looking at the audience’s age group, it became evident that many, like me, expected the original performance and didn’t realize they were in for a reinterpretation.

While this reinterpretation was well-executed, some aspects disrupted the flow of the story. The expressive dancing, at times, felt more like a distraction, and the use of microphones made it seem like a gig rather than a musical performance. Picking up guitars during emotionally charged scenes further added to the distractions. Despite this, the acting and singing in most parts were powerful.

The ensemble of dancers and singers was impeccable. Each performer delivered a standout performance. The actor playing Jesus, when not preoccupied with the guitar, had an exceptional voice that could move anyone.

If you’re a staunch fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original version, watching this reinterpretation may leave you with mixed feelings. The performance, staging, lighting, and dancing were all impressive, but certain elements, like the guitar, detracted from the emotional depth. Personally, I prefer the original, but that’s due to my attachment to it.

For younger readers or those who want to experience something fresh, this reinterpretation might be worth a try. Just keep in mind that the emotional connection from the original might be slightly diluted. I’m uncertain if I’d see this version again, but I’m glad I didn’t initially realize it was a different take. I would have missed out on witnessing incredible dancers, performers, and extraordinary singers.

In conclusion, if you’re a purist, you might want to stick to the original, but if you’re open to a reinterpretation with fantastic vocal performances, give it a shot.

It’s important to note that all the views and opinions expressed in my blog posts and vlogs are entirely personal, have not been influenced in any way and reflect my individual perspective. I value authenticity and honesty above all, and my content is a genuine reflection of my thoughts and experiences.

Rainy Day Things to Do During a Great British Summer

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Anyone who lives in the UK knows that summer is never going to be several months of sunshine and heat. Some parts of the country do get more sun than others, but there usually isn’t more than a couple of weeks of warmer weather during the season. Apart from a short heatwave, we can generally expect milder weather and even plenty of rain. It can be a bit disappointing to have to put up with miserable weather during the summer, but it doesn’t have to stop you finding things to do. You might not want to go to the beach, but you don’t have to be bored.

You can do all sorts of things on a rainy summer day, whether you want to stay home or go out.

Have a TV/Movie Day

Rain doesn’t have to keep you inside, but sometimes you really don’t want to go out when it’s wet. Fortunately, you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to. You can find plenty of things to do at home, including having a day where you watch TV and movies. Use your favourite streaming services, or line up some DVDs or BluRays if you’re old school (or some VHS tapes if you’re really old school). There’s no need to even get changed out of your pyjamas if you don’t want to. You can make your favourite snacks, order a takeaway and just enjoy rewatching old favourites or discovering something new.

Visit a Museum

If you do feel like going somewhere, museums are perfect for a rainy day. They’re full of fascinating things to see and do and even museums you’ve visited before can offer something new. And plenty of them have cafes, so you can sit down for a cuppa and some cake too. If you’re lucky, there will be some free museums nearby, or you could take a day trip to London or somewhere else with free museums. But even museums with paid entry are often pretty affordable, so it shouldn’t be an expensive day out—unless you get drawn into the gift shop.

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Play Some Board Games

Another option for staying at home is to have a board game day. There are so many options that pretty much everyone can find a game they love. There are the more traditional games if you want to set up a chess board, a game of drafts, or even backgammon. Then there are family favourites like Monopoly and Scrabble that everyone can enjoy. And there are plenty of more modern choices too, some of which even hook up to mobile apps or other tech to make them even more fun.

Book Some Indoor Play or Activity

Museums aren’t the only indoor activity you can enjoy. There are lots of options for indoor play or indoor activities if you want to go out and do something. If you’re going out as a family, you might enjoy something like a soft play area or a trampoline park. Other options could include bowling, ice skating, escape rooms, indoor crazy golf, or other fun ways to spend the day while staying inside. If you have a local pool or leisure centre, that can be fun too. Some of these things might need to be booked in advance, but there are also things you can just turn up for.

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See a Performance

A rainy day could be the perfect time to go and see a performance. Look up local theatres and see if there are any plays, musicals, or other performances available. Some of them might be family-friendly and you’re sure to find some more grown-up options too. There could also be opportunities to go to a concert or see some comedy, or even just see a film at the cinema. You can even find free performances sometimes, which will help you save money.

Go Out to Eat

There are worse ways to spend a rainy day than eating something tasty. If you want to get out of the house, going out to eat is a great use of your time. You can find a restaurant to try or return to one you’ve been to before. Of course, if you would rather stay at home, you can always order in or perhaps make yourself something. Spending some time cooking or baking can be a fun way to make use of a rainy day.

British summers might not be the hottest or even the driest, but you can still have plenty of fun even when it’s raining.

Les Miserables (Glasgow Theatre Royal) 2021 : Review

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Returning by popular demand following a sell-out run, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables returns to Theatre Royal Glasgow in 2021.

I first saw this show in London’s West End many years ago and instantly fell in love with it.

This musical had everything from amazing singers, stunning sets, great storylines and memorable songs that we all know and love.

When I heard it was coming to Glasgow I HAD to book tickets and see it.

Let me add if you have seen the musical movie and thought it was ok or very good, this has to be seen in the theatre due to the amazing singers and sets…the movie is ok but the musical is MUCH MUCH better and will blow you away!

The Show

I was very lucky and quickly jumped on after the tickets got released, and managed to get two front row seats. For a show like this these are the seats you need, as you feel part of the performance and story from start to finish.

As soon as the orchestra played that first note, I was instantly drawn in and had a massive smile on my face.

For me Colm Wilkinson will always be Jean Valjean, so Dean Chisnall had big boots to fill. Dean was amazing, and at parts he sounded like a younger Colin Wilkinson for me…just in some parts of each songs.

Another performer that caught my attention was Nathania Ong (Eponine) she had such a lovely voice and her solo was so so good! her acting was also very good as you felt sorry for her, due to the storyline.

Javert performed by Nic Greenshields he was such a powerful and amazing singer, and the bridge scene blew me away how well done it was and how smooth it happened!!

The Sets & Orchestra

I have now seen Les Miserables several times in London and now in Glasgow, and something I always say to people is how fantastic the sets are and how smooth the transitions are.

My friend was with me tonight and that was also his comment, how smooh everything was.

Orchestra wise…wow!!!! I was front row so it was amazing and how good they sounded so a massive well done to the set designers etc and the whole orchestra.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall :

Tonight’s performance was just as wow as it was the first time I saw Les Miserables.

Everyone was amazing, and the whole evening was just amazing.

If you have never seen this, and love musicals I highly recommend you see it!!!

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My Rating :

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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