Godspell works its magic with mop and mime

Excellent: Todd Wilson (left) as Judas and Patrick McCallion as Jesus                                                  Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald
Excellent: Todd Wilson (left) as Judas and Patrick McCallion as Jesus Picture: Bruce Fitzgerald
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Godspell

Halifax Light Opera Society Juniors

Halifax Playhouse

By Sandra Rout

A TALENTED cast is currently weaving its magic in a hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking production of Godspell.

This former Broadway hit, first staged in 1971, is based around parables and teachings from the Gospel of Matthew and features memorable hits, Day by Day and Prepare Ye, along with dancing, cartwheels, juggling and magic tricks.

The stage fizzes with energy and spectacle.

Ingenious choreography, staging (one song features mops, dustbins and drumsticks) and devices including charades and mime, move the stories along and keep the audience on its toes.

The cast of 21 is directed by Adam Smith in his second show with the Juniors.

In an inspired piece of casting, Patrick McCallion plays Jesus, giving a confident, passionate and convincing performance. He looks the part too, dressed in white with a mop of dark curls.

Todd Wilson excels as Judas and there are wonderful comic performances from Joshua Straw and Jake Marsden which give laugh-out-loud moments.

Vocal performances are good, with Katie Bottomley delivering a pitch-perfect Day by Day and the duet We Beseech Thee is simply beautiful.

The show moves from laughter to deliver some truly poignant and dramatic scenes, including the temptation of Christ and the Crucifixion, which is simply but effectively depicted with minimal props and imaginative lighting.

The image remains long after the show is over.

Godspell continues its run until Saturday (7.30pm), when there is also a 2.30pm matinee.

Catch it if you can.