Casting has been announced for the concert staging of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which sold more than a third of all available seats in the first 48 hours. The productions runs for six weeks from 14 August until 27 September 2020.
As capacity for the 1,256 seat venue has been reduced to 390 to meet government guidance on social distancing, there will be nine performances a week, across the six-week run, to make the production economically viable. Therefore the roles of Jesus, Judas and Mary will be double-cast, giving audiences the opportunity to see any combination of actors as they alternate performances (a schedule will not be confirmed in advance to allow for flexibility).
Declan Bennett and Pepe Nufrio will play the role of Jesus. Bennett originated the role in the Open Air Theatre production in 2016 and 2017. Pepe Nufrio appears in the North American tour of the Regent’s Park production.
Tyrone Huntley and Ricardo Afonso will play the role of Judas. Huntley won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Emerging Talent when he originated the role in 2016, a performance which also earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Afonso played the role of Judas when the Open Air Theatre production transferred to the Barbican in 2019. Anoushka Lucas and Maimuna Memon both reprise their Open Air Theatre performances as Mary.
Also confirmed are: David Thaxton (Pilate), Shaq Taylor (Herod), Ivan De Freitas (Caiaphas), Nathan Amzi (Annas), Phil King (Peter), Cedric Neal (Simon), and Genesis Lynea, Rosa O’Reilly and Elliotte Williams-N’Dure (Soul Singers).
Completing the cast are: Daniel Bailey, Dale Evans, Rosie Fletcher, Josh Hawkins, Stevie Hutchinson, Billy Nevers, Charlotte Riby, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Barnaby Thompson and Tara Young.
Following two sell-out runs at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (2016/2017), the original Olivier and Evening Standard Award-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar played a season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (2018), 60 dates at the Barbican Theatre (2019), and an ongoing hugely successful three-year North American tour.
The creative team is: Will Burton CDG and David Grindrod CDG (casting); Lee Curran (lighting design); Tom Deering (musical supervisor); Barbara Houseman (associate director, voice and text); Drew McOnie (choreography); Nick Lidster for Autograph (sound design); Tom Scutt (set design) after the set design for EVITA by Soutra Gilmour; Tom Scutt (costume design); Timothy Sheader (director); Kate Waters (fight director) and Denzel Westley-Sanderson (co-director).
When announcing the production, William Village, executive director said:
“The safety of our audience, performers and staff remains of paramount importance to us, and we will follow government guidance meticulously. Measures to be introduced at our entirely open air venue include: reduced capacity, distanced performers, enhanced cleaning, one-way systems, mandatory face coverings, temperature screening, paperless and cashless systems and multiple hand sanitiser stations.”
The venue will be open one hour before the concert. The running time is approximately 90 minutes with no interval.