Reviewed by David Smith

July 2015

There was a great deal to like in Scotch College’s innovative interpretation of this powerful Webber and Rice rock opera. It showcased the abundant strengths of the school’s talented cast. Director Adam Goodburn’s concept of setting the piece in a bleak contemporary urban streetscape worked exceptionally well. The set was stark and threatening, mirroring Caiaphas’ authoritarian regime.

The whole production was tight and disciplined. Musical Director Antony Hubmayer and Choreographer Linda Williams made sure it all sounded and looked good. The band was stationed behind the central screen where projected images and animations supported the action.

The young cast were impressively focussed. They effectively highlighted the conflict of good and evil, freedom and repression. There were many fine singers and dancers. Ben Francis was outstanding as Jesus. He found the right balance of compassion, inner strength and vulnerability and sang powerfully throughout his very wide range. Tom Russell was a splendid foil as Judas. He, too, sang strongly and brought clear definition to the character’s central dilemma when betraying Jesus.

Paris Anderson played Mary with grace and empathy. Samuel Burt as Caiaphas, the brutal media mogul, and Emma Trumble as Annas were calculating and merciless. They used the menace of stillness particularly well. Lachlan Williams brought a telling humanity to the role of Pontuis Pilate while Tayla Coad made the most of Herod’s famous satirical song. The supporting cast of disciples, along with the general ensemble, also impressed.

This was a fine performance, and a stunning example of quality youth theatre.

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This production was reviewed by:

David Smith
David Smith
David’s long involvement in community theatre began in Adelaide and continued for some decades in Port Augusta, Whyalla, Kapunda and the Barossa, and for one year, McAllen, Texas, USA. He is a performer, director, writer and former secondary school Drama teacher. He sings in the Adelaide Harmony Choir.

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