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This review is from: Jesus Christ Superstar - Live Arena Tour 2012 [Region 2/4/5] [DVD]  (DVD)
I should disclose from the start that Jesus Christ Superstar has always been my favourite musical. I have seen many productions over the years and usually find something to love about each. This particular production, though, had a beauty and an impact for me that was quite exceptional and it will be a joy to be able to watch it again on DVD.
I saw the show in Glasgow on its tour around the UK rather than at the O2 and there were none of the sound / mic problems reported from the London shows - perhaps the smaller scale of the regional venues helped to control the sound more effectively or perhaps the technical teething problems had simply been resolved. The modernisation of the setting and design may not appeal to those who like their apostles in robes and sandals but it created an immediacy and a tension all of its own and some of the images created on the stage (and on the screen behind) were quite stunning. The portrayals of the Crucifixion and Judas's death in particular had a savage beauty quite unlike any I had seen in previous productions.
The incorporation of some sensational lighting effects and the newsreel / cinematic links on the screen also helped to create a truly multi-dimensional quality to the production. This, together with a top-whack band and the clever direction gave the show terrific pace and energy.
There has been much press coverage of the casting for this show but I found all of the performances strong, compelling and emotionally authentic. The lead trio of Judas, Mary and Jesus (Tim Minchin, Melanie C and Ben Forster) were particularly impressive and each in turn moved me to tears.