Godspell, the legendary rock musical from Stephen Schwartz, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer of Wicked, returns to Cardiff’s New Theatre this week.
Following the critically acclaimed sell-out success in London's West End, the show is returning to the UK in a one-of-a-kind production, with a brand new, modern day rock score that features Light of the World, All Good Gifts and Day by Day.
The production features Andy Abraham, Tom Senior and Leanne Jarvis while supporting the stars as a walking choir will be Newport based company CentreStage Cymru, The last three years have seen this fresh, vibrant society go from strength to strength, receiving plaudits from all those who have seen them perform.
Since their first successful concert in 2012, the company has gone from strength to strength bringing premier performances to the Dolman such as Whistle Down the Wind and White Christmas among others, and are at present in rehearsals for their next fabulous production The Addams Family.
Following national auditions earlier this year, the company were chosen to perform in the Cardiff dates of the national tour of Godspell the Broadway Revival. The company were absolutely delighted and thrilled to have been chosen from hundreds of groups across the UK. “I saw a post on Facebook asking for choirs to apply for the Cardiff auditions and applied,” says Centrestage Cymru's Sharon Higgins, “We got through to the auditions and had to audition in front of two of the producers Russell Scott and Mark Pettitt. We had to wait until the next day to find out if we got through. We had an anxious wait to see if our picture was put on the Godspell UK tour website. We were so proud and excited when we did!”
Although only given 6 weeks to learn the completely new score, movement from video clips, and rehearsing for The Addams Family at the same time the company pulled out all the stops to deliver a professional performance that they have become renown for and are proud to have put the much talented Newport amateur scene on the map in a professional production.
Sharon says the orchestration of Godspell which will be presented at Cardiff’s New Theatre from Friday “differs from the original giving it a new gutsy rock feel.”
“We can't wait to work with the main cast and orchestra,” continues Sharon, “A few of us went to the press night when the show opened at the Hackney Empire, London. The atmosphere was electric. The lights and sound of the band is amazing and the principal line up is awesome! For the people from CSC that are involved it has been hard work as we are also rehearsing The Addams Family, but it will be such a memorable experience."
- Godspell in Concert plays at Cardiff’s New Theatre from Friday 17 - Saturday 18 April. Visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk for ticket information.
- For more information on Centrestage Cymru visit their official website
- A version of this article by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment section The Guide on April 10, 2015