26/7/12 A New Superstar is Born

Hi Theatre-goers

Feeling very pleased this morning as an old friend of mine, 30 year old Sunderland lad Ben Forster, was crowned Jesus Christ Superstar last night on ITV.

To be honest I think Ben was the favourite from the on-set and he never appeared in the bottom two to “sing-off” in front of the Lord (Lloyd Webber). His vocals were always spot on and he seemed to gain in confidence with every performances – so very well done to him!

I remember Ben as an 18 year old starting at Italia Conti Theatre Arts School – he had such an amazing voice, yet such a humble demeanour about him. His first taste of West End success came, when still a 2nd year student, he was cast as the young male lead in the musical La Cava which was written by Cubby (James Bond ) Brocolli’s widow. Although a short-lived production, Ben was, of course, superb in it and I could only think of a fantastic future before him.

Now at last, he has achieved the recognition that was due to him and I know for sure he will be an excellent and sensitive Jesus when it hits the UK’s arenas in September.

I booked my tickets a while back for the O2 and I am so,so pleased that I’m going to see Ben on stage taking us through the moving story of the last few days of the Christ. It’s a show I’ve always loved because the music and lyrics are out of this world and so moving. You don’t even have to have a religious faith to enjoy the music – one of the best Lloyd Webber/Rice collaborations by far.

Have a great Thursday


About Simon Harding

Simon Harding has grown up in and around London's Theatreland and has been working here ever since he left school: promoting its shows to anyone who will listen!

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