This blog is in danger of becoming a list of things I hate.
For example, here are some things I hate:
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Chris Moyles
- The Spice Girls (and their constituent parts)
- God (and his constituent parts)
But somehow I still manage to nearly wee with excitement at the news that Jesus Christ Superstar is being revived and touring the country. Moyles, the UK’s 3rd most evil man, is playing Herod. Lloyd Webber, the UK’s 2nd most evil man, wrote the music. God, the universe’s most pernicious lie, is a major protagonist. And a Spice Girl is playing a warbling hooker in love with the wrong guy… which seems like an apt bit of casting, so fair play.
(The UK’s most evil man is, of course, Rolf Harris.)
Yet I’m thrilled. I know musicals are commonly held to to be a bit camp and gay and stupid and all of that palava. And I accept that many of them are, which is at least 73% of the appeal.
But Jesus Christ Superstar isn’t from the school of Glee, it’s from the school of Rock. It’s full of churning, thunderous brilliance. Not high-camp, stage-school impersonations of rock, but guttural, vigorous, angry, thrashing, powerful rock, with guitar hooks so hooky that they’ll spear right into you and never let go. It’s a bellowing, shrieking, clever, indignant, and strangely honest piece of work.
In it, Jesus is portrayed as a dreamy pillock with a death-wish that nobody else can understand, because maybe he’s crazy and God is just a symptom of his schizophrenia. Judas is the first man to say “Jesus Christ” in tongue-tied frustration, and is egged into betrayal by a chorus of soothing angels who are out to do God’s dirty work. Herod is a weak politician, bullied by the mob. Religious zealots are crazy and dangerous, and are constantly looking for a fight. And they all sing, which is a bit strange, but somehow works.
Why are you still here? Get your ass on Amazon and buy the album.
So I’m going. Line up now to point at me and take the piss, I don’t care. I’m going. And while you’re mocking me, here are some other musicals I’m proud to enjoy.
West Side Story
My Fair Lady
Oh, by the way, Rolf Harris is not the UK’s most evil man, that was a joke. He’s lovely. And Australian. And nobody can top Cowell for being pure, Sheffield steel, oak-smoked, all-leather, organic evil. He’s the M&S of evil. If anybody is capable of preventing me from seeing Jesus Christ Superstar, it would be the involvement of that man – if man he be! I’m still convinced that one day a camera will catch him slipping off his skin to reveal the lizard beneath, and then swallowing a lamb whole.
See? Back to hating again.