In compliance with social-distancing guidelines, seating capacity is reduced from 1,256 to just 290 seats for each performance. 'This makes producing any large-scale show extremely challenging economically,' says the theatre's executive director William Village. 'Nevertheless, both for us as a venue, and the industry as a whole, we believe it is incumbent upon us to do everything possible to re-open this year.'
Director Timothy Sheader emphasises the live concert atmosphere of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1970 rock opera. After selling out at the Open Air theatre in 2016 and 2017, the production won an Olivier and went on to impress at the Barbican and on an American tour.
Sheader sets a modern scene at the centre of which is a skinny, indie-rock Jesus in a baggy hoodie and hi-tops, sipping coolly on a beer as his disciples throng around him. Choreographer Drew McOnie cranks up the energy with flawless chorus numbers (which will be adapted from the original production to be more distanced). And the soundtrack of classic songs thrums with life in what promises to be a rousing return to the thrill of live theatre this summer.
|What||Jesus Christ Superstar, Open Air Theatre|
|Where||Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Cir, Westminster, London, NW1 4NU | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Baker Street (underground)|
14 Aug 20 – 27 Sep 20, 3pm and 7:30pm
|Price||£25 - £65|
|Website||Click here to book|