The Most Powerful Jesus Christ Superstar

““You can rock the critics if you try”



Cast. (Photo: Paul Coltas)

I think this is the sixth time I have seen this production of Jesus Christ Superstar.   It originated at Regent’s Park in the Open Air which felt like a crowd of people having found out about happiness and the meaning of life.  I returned that year in 2016 with my family, and again in 2017.  In 2019 I saw it again, for the first time indoors at the Barbican, and in 2020 once more at the Open Air but under distancing regulations for both the audience and the cast with redesigned choreography. 

It was Drew McOnie’s dance which made the initial impression but now I am looking for an audio recording which has the wonderful guitar riffs which are distinctive to Timothy Sheader’s production.  Now at Wimbledon New Theatre for a criminally short week but on tour to the rest of the UK (details below) and simultaneously in the USA, Netherlands, Japan, Norway and Hungary. 

Hannah Richardson as Mary. (Photo: Paul Coltas)

It is a wonderful show and remains true to the original.  The overture is exciting and a strong start to the rock ethos of the musical.  “Heaven on their Minds” introduces Judas (Shem Omari James)’s misgivings followed by the full of energy “What’s the Buzz?”  Mary Magdalene (Hannah Richardson) tries to calm Jesus (Ian McIntosh) with the gentle ballad “Everything’s Alright”. 

One of my favourite scenes is next with the High Priests, Annas (Matt Bateman with his wonderful voice and Caiaphas (Jad Habchi) whose register is as deep as the ocean and just as sexy. The moment when they up end their ceremonial staffs for them to become microphones still scores for sheer drama.  They switch from “This Jesus Must Die” to the crowd pleasing “Hosanna” a brilliant tune we can all identify with.  “Tell the rabble to be quiet,” sings Caiaphas but Jesus’s followers respond with more “Hosanna” which might be my favourite song from the show.

Matt Bateman as Annas and Jad Hibachi as Caiaphas. (Photo: Paul Coltas)

The only scene which I found less effective in the indoor space is the clearing of the traders from the Temple which starts with gold lit crosses and ends with Caiaphas counting his gold. The superb Hannah Richardson sings the evocative hit single from the show, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”.  “Damned for All Time/Blood Money” from Judas and the priests has choreography to die for. 

Act Two goes into the clever recreation of Da Vinci’s painting of “The Last Supper”.  Jesus sings “Gethsemane” and “The Arrest” sees Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. We can now see the band on the Upper level along with the High Priests.  Judas accepted the silver but his hands are permanently silvered. 

After Da Vinci's Last Supper (Photo: Paul Coltas)

Herod (Timo Tatzber) enters for his song which always reminds me of the Elvis like entrance of the Pharoah in Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.  The chorus dance with their heads on bloody plates as we remember the Slaughter of the Innocents.

Judas sings falsetto and goes to his death with shame.  The crowd turn on Jesus and tell Pilate (Ryan O’Donnell) to crucify him.  Of course Peter has denied Jesus three times as predicted.  The final scene of the Scourging of Jesus is played out with sparks flying at each of the 39 lashes but the pain shown by Ian McIntosh is very moving.

This is the best production of Jesus Christ Superstar I ever hope to see and I would give it six stars if I could from Theatrevibe, the site that doesn’t do stars.

Musical Numbers

Act One


Heaven On Their Minds

What’s The Buzz

Strange Thing, Mystifying

Everything’s Alright

This Jesus Might Die


Simon Zealotes / Poor Jerusalam

Pilate’s Dream

The Temple

Everything’s Alright (Reprise)

I Don’t Know How To Love Him

Damned For All Time / Blood Money

Act Two

The Last Supper


The Arrest

Peter’s Denial

Pilate and Christ / Herod’s Song

Could We Start Again, Please?

Judas’s Death

Trial by Pilate / 39 Lashes



John 19:41

Production Notes

Jesus Christ Superstar

Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Directed by Timothy Sheader
Choreographed by Drew McOnie



Ian McIntosh

Shem Omari James

Hannah Richardson

Ryan O’Donnell

Jad Habchi

Matt Bateman


Luke Street

Timo Tatzber

Jasmine Jules Andrews

Daniel Bowskill

Carla Bertran

Pàje Campbell

Myra Carmen

Eloise Davies

Francis Foreman

Louise Francis

Joshua Hawkins

Casandra Lee

Darius J James

Stephen Lewis-Johnston

Jordan Michael Todd

Jago Mottart

Mia Musakambeva

Timothy Roberts

Esme Rothero

Christopher Tendai




Director: Timothy Sheader

Choreographer: Drew McOnie

Designer: Tom Scutt

Musical Supervisor: Tom Deering

Lighting Designer:  Lee Curran

Sound Designer:  Nick Lidster

Musical Director: Grant Walsh


Running Time: Two hours with an interval

Booking at Wimbledon until 18th May 2024


Then touring to  all 2024


21st to 25th May              The Lowry  

3rd to 8th  June                New Victoria Woking

11th to 15th June             Sunderland Empire

17th to 22nd June            Marlowe Theatre , Canterbury

24th to 29th June.            Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

1st July to 6th July           Cymru, Llandudno

9th to 13th July                Pavilion Southend

16th to 20th July              Princess, Torquay

29th July to 3rd August   King’s Theatre, Glasgow

5th to 10th August           Everyman Cheltenham

12th to 17th August         Winter Gardens, Blackpool





New Theatre Wimbledon

93 The Broadway


London SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at the New Theatre Wimbledon on 14th May 2024

The Crucifixion (Photo: Paul Coltas)