And so the wait is over and last night we discovered who was going to joing Mel C, Tim Minchin and Chris Moyles on the arena stages for the UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Congratulations to Ben Forster who beat thousands to win the marathon casting auditions held on ITV in front of millions over the last two weeks. He beat Roger and Rory in the final and will now go on to play the role of Jesus Christ at the O2 on 22 and 23 September 2012.
WEMBLEY ARENA UPDATE: We now have Theatre Breaks including best seats for the return of Jesus Christ Superstar to London when it plays Wmbley Arena on 17 October 2012 Book Now
The huge stadium tour being planned by Lord Lloyd Webber comes as the icing on the cake to a musical year like no other, as production announcements including The Bodyguard, Viva Forever and Cabaret have already made 2012 the Year of the Musical.
Between the four of them we are set to enjoy a purple patch of musical entertainment – and that is on top of the smash hit shows that are already in town.
But back to the point. Following on from the success of TV casting shows such as “You’re The One That I want,” “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” and more recently “Over the Rainbow,” Lord Lloyd Webber’s new reality TV show was just as exciting as we watched him search for his “Superstar”.
We are over-joyed to still have availablility for our Jesus Christ Superstar and Hotel theatre breaks - just on the news alone that comedian and Matilda the Musical writer, Tim Minchin, will star as Judas set ticket touts a gagging. Then Sporty Spice, Mel C, was set up as Mary Magdeline and the icing on the cake was the surprise casting of Radio One DJ Chris Moyles as King Herod!
We know he can sing a bit because he came third on Celebrity X Factor and of course as breakfast DJ he holds the ear of the nations youth (and a few of us 40 year olds) but he famously hates musicals!
The show will premiere at London’s O2 Arena before embarking on its UK tour calling at arenas in Glasgow, Newcastle, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and Birmingham – so it will be kill or cure for Moyles.
London Theatre Breaks for Jesus Christ Superstar include second price lower tier tickets at The O2 plus overnight accommodation in the stylish Cavendish London hotel.
Book Jesus Christ Superstar Theatre Breaks Today
If you've read The Guardian's review of this show - don't believe a word of it.
When I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at the O2 Arena on Saturday night 99% of the audience gave it a standing ovation - the 1% was the disinterested bloke sitting next to my friend who was texting through-out the entire performance!
It's one of my all-time favourite musicals and thankfully it still is. The strong cast delivered every song to perfection with outstanding performances from Ben Forster (Jesus) and Tim Minchin (Judas). The latter was simply ... well, his voice was beyond all words of acclaimation.
I first met Ben Forster when he was a teenager in training at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London (where I was working at the time) back in 1999. He was a very confident and likeable chap with the most amazing voice. He got his first West End role whilst still a student in the short-lived La Cava - still you could tell he had star potential.
I try to follow as many of "my students" as I can and must admit was a little disappointed that I didn't see Ben's name in any big West End shows after he graduated because I really thought he would be hugely sought after for young romantic leads. Although that's not to say he hadn't been busy doing other stuff & recording albums.
Imagine my joy when I saw him auditionaing for the role of Jesus in the ITV talent show "Superstar" and once the live voting shows started he was obviously the firm favourite with the audience. He never once recieved criticism from the judges and every performance he gave was faultless.
It was then I booked my seats at the O2 in the hope that Ben would win the competition, but not minding if it was another one of the contestants because I could tell this was going to be a show not to be missed.
I was right. The SHOW IS NOT TO BE MISSED and I urge everyone to see it - it plays in arenas all over the country so no excuses!
Ben and Tim are brilliant together on stage and I admit to shedding a tear during the soaring vocals of Gethsemane not only because of the emotion of the song but also the pride I felt for Ben up there owning the stage. The applause went on for ages after that solo which moved everyone (except of course the bloke sat next to my friend who was now Facebooking his chums).
I loved it so much, that I came home and immediately booked tickets to go & see it again at Wembley in October - this time taking the kids.
If there were more star ratings on this site, I would give it 100, but 5 stars will have to do because that's all there is.