WHEN YOU THINK of Mary Magdalene, perhaps the last person you’d expect to star as her in a musical is a Spice Girl – but this summer, Melanie C will perform as the religious figure in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
She is among a number of well-known people to star in the production, including Australian musical comedian and composer Tim Minchin, and radio DJ Chris Moyles.
The show will first visit Northern Irish shores on 9 October when it comes to the Belfast Odyssey Arena, before moving on to the O2 in Dublin on Friday 12 October.
This is the first ever Arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary rock classic Jesus Christ Superstar. Tim Minchin – also the co-writer of West End smash musical Matilda – is confirmed for the role of Judas Iscariot; Melanie C will take the only female lead as Mary Magdalene; and BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles will make his major stage debut as King Herod.
To make things even more interesting, an ITV primetime show Superstar will give the public the chance to decide who will play the starring role of Jesus, with a panel of live show judges led by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The arena tour celebrates 40 years since Jesus Christ Superstar first opened in London’s West End. It will kick off in London on 21 September before visiting Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and Nottingham.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
Jesus Christ Superstar began life as an album followed by a sell-out arena tour of the US. Our very first show was at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we played to over 13,000 people. Tim and I have always wanted to take Superstar back to its roots and we are both delighted that it will finally play an arena tour in venues where many of the world’s great rock acts have gone before.
He described the stars as “true ambassadors of entertainment”.
Melanie C said:
I have been lucky enough to perform at arenas across the globe and to star in London’s West End but taking on the role of Mary Magdalene in the incredible Jesus Christ Superstar has to be one my most exciting challenges to date. I can’t wait to take the show to some of my favourite venues with such a talented and formidable cast including Tim and Chris.
The original multi-million selling Jesus Christ Superstar double-album, released in 1970, became a No1 hit record in the US charts and led to the live show. The album has been digitally re-mastered and will be released on 16 July.
Here’s a look at the recent Broadway production of the show: