On Stage: Godspell UK Tour 2015, New Theatre, Cardiff

As I traveled to Cardiff’s New Theatre on Friday evening, I pondered how a full blown concert revival version of Godspell could work. Yes, we have all those wonderful songs composed by Stephen Schwartz including Prepare Ye, Day By Day and Light of the World, but could they still stand up with a new presentation and arrangement some 45 years after their Broadway debut?

With musical direction from Russell Scott, company cast members followed a dynamic prologue from actress Dominique Planter with a performance of  Tower Of Babble accompanied by rhythmical bleeps of mobile phones. From that moment on the talented cast gelled to perfection.

The energy, enthusiasm and delivery were spot on as Andy Abraham as John the Baptist performed Prepare Ye, before Tom Senior captivated the audience as Jesus with his rendition of Save the People.

Newport’s own Centrestage Cymru made their New Theatre debut as a walking choir and provided stellar support to Leanne Jarvis pitch-perfect performance of Day By Day, while the show’s static choir Rechoir provided further emphasis on the shows big numbers with professionalism.

South Wales own Laura Mansell gave a wonderful soulful rendition of Bless the Lord and there was a further treat at the beginning of the second act when Laura collaborated with Andy, Leanne and Jennifer Potts for a music Jam.

Special mention must also go to Maeve Byrne, Mitch Miller, Jason Broderick and Robert Hannouch, all musical bright lights who added further magic to the show and are sure-fire ones to watch in the future!

My one hope is that this exciting interpretation of the music of Godspell is recorded for posterity before the tour ends; I would certainly love to enjoy every moment all over again.

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