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Jesus Christ Superstar to Rock Thurles

jcapostlesThe blockbusting Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar will be staged in Thurles from Tuesday March 31st – Saturday April 4th in the Premier Hall, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, in what is sure to be a sellout run.

Coming to stage one week before Easter, this is the perfect warm-up for Holy Week and the local Thurles cast have been busy preparing for what is a massive show. Apart from the having a huge chorus, there is a wonderful set and stage design in the offing – a simple, yet extremely clever stage, setting the scene for the last seven days of Jesus life.

Thurles, renowned nationwide for it’s amateur musical theatre talent will rock to the music of Lloyd Webber and the lyrics of Tim Rice, under the direction of Tony Finnegan and his assistant Mary Butler. Musical Director/Conductor Mary Rose McNally has been busy putting the cast and chorus through their vocal paces while Choreographers Rosalie Butler and Trisha McElgunn have co-ordinated with the Director in the big scenes.

With over 100 people on stage, this show is set to be one of the biggest ever productions staged in the Cathedral Town, and will pose significant challenges to Stage Manager Tommy Sweeney, Stage Director Rita Callanan and their respective teams.

Jesus Christ Superstar – a dramatised version of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, was the first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage. The show opened on 12th October 1971 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York with the London production opening on 9th August 1972 with Paul Nicholas (Jesus), Stephen Tate (Judas) and Dana Gillespie (Mary Magdalen). By the time it closed, after some eight years and 3,358 performances, it had become the longest-running musical in West End history. The recording of the score of the show, with Ian Gillan (Jesus), Murray Head (Judas) and Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalen), topped the American album charts three times.

Jesus Christ Superstar has been reproduced regularly around the world in the years since its first appearance. Perfomances include a series of vastly successful Harry M. Miller staged concerts in Australia and in January 2009, a unique gospel interpretation of the show, Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL, opened at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.

Among the role players in the Thurles production will be Brian Flanagan (Jesus), Shane Willoughby (Judas), Derek Ryan (Pilate), Francis Butler (Peter), Linda Ryan (Mary Magdalene), John Scott (Caiaphas), David McElgunn (Herod) and Jonathon Gleeson (Simon). The show was last staged in Thurles by an adult company in 1993, and interestingly, quite a few of the original cast and chorus are on stage again for this latest production, including John Scott, who once again takes on the role of Caiaphas.

Tickets can be booked via the Booking Office in Hickey’s Pharmacy, Liberty Square, Thurles (0504-21423) which is now open. Book early to avoid disappointment. OAP, student and group discounts are available.

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