Next Stage Productions raised the curtain last night on Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The first auditions for the show were back in September when I didn’t even know about the theatre group, writes Matt Waldeck.
My Nan was in contact with the amazing choreographer Amy Dalton who said she was part of a group who were looking for boys. This was happening whilst I was on holiday in April. My Nan rang me and I got straight on the phone to the director, Rachel Ashworth-Jerem, to ask if I could come along to a rehearsal and see if I could be given a part in the production.
I went along the following Thursday with another boy, JJ Marston, and we both sang a part of the last supper to Jason Ashworth who is the Musical Director. I remember that I was so nervous because I had just walked into a room of strangers who were all older than me and I was asked to sing part of a song that I had never heard before, but Jason was very helpful and it was decided that we would be given the parts of apostles and guards.
Once I met the cast I was so relieved because, not only were they friendly and good to get to know, but they were all amazingly talented. I knew I could learn a lot from them, which I definitely have.
All of the rehearsals were strenuous but a lot of fun. We had a few late nights leading up to the performance: our technical rehearsal on the Sunday started at six and I didn’t get home until the early hours of Monday morning.
In the tech rehearsal it was the first time the production had been performed on the Lincoln Theatre Royal stage because we had been rehearsing at Bishop Grosseteste University College, but it was also the first time we had ever used the dreaded cross. I didn’t realise that it was going to be JJ and I who would be putting Alex Lodge (who plays Jesus) on the cross and with the help of two others we would be lifting it with Jesus on it. We had a few practices before we got him on. He must have been terrified. He had just been given the 39 lashes and then was going to be tied onto a 10-foot bit of wood and left to die. Well not really left to die, but he still must have been scared left so high up on his own for a few minutes.
Finally the moment came. Last night the audience flooded in and the audience was packed. Everything went to plan and from what I have heard we all did a really good job. The crucifixion had no mistakes and there were cheers at the end of every song. I was even on the radio today talking to Nicola Gilroy about the show.
For more information on last night’s performance and some audience comments listen to Nicola Gilroy’s BBC Radio Lincolnshire show on BBC iPlayer.
You can still buy tickets up until Saturday 23rd of July from the Theatre Royal website.