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