Yesterday we published an interview with the directors – today we chat to some of the cast about their characters and experience of working on SLT’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar which opens on Tuesday, August 23 in the Main Hall at Stanley Halls.
Dan Goad – Judas Iscariot
Dan has been involved with several musicals but this is his first with SLT.
“Musicals take their inspiration from many different sources, but few have source material as ubiquitous as the life of Jesus. I’m sure all of the audience will be familiar with the roles of the key players in Jesus Christ Superstar, including Judas, and will have some pre-conceived notions about them.
In performing a role you try to separate your portrayal from previous performers, and when it comes to Superstar you not only have other versions of the same musical, but countless other representations. History and popular culture – from Dante to Mel Gibson – have offered various interpretations of Judas, but in general his name has become a byword for treachery. There’s a temptation to make him into an outright villain, motivated by greed, jealousy or general unpleasantness. The more challenging approach is to portray him as a real person. His motivations and actions are not black and white, but there are shades of grey; so it’s been a challenge to show this inner conflict as well as singing some of the hardest songs in musical theatre!”
Sean Mullaney – Jesus Christ
Sean has just moved here from the USA where he also played the role of Jesus Christ.
“Having just hopped off the plane and jumped into the rehearsal process has made this beloved show and more specifically the role of Jesus feel like my safe haven. The familiarity has helped with the shift of scenery, and this cast and production team has made the life-changing event as smooth as could be.
The show’s process has been refreshing and professional compared to the work I’ve done in the USA, as the theatre scene where I’m from was all too competitive and quick to tear you down. Here I feel the communal aspect and driving force of the show is to stage the best production for the audience. It’s great to see such a kind, supportive and talented group of artists coming together to put on this fantastic production for the community, and it’s set a high standard for my expectations of theatre here in future.”
Alley Bilodeau – Mary Magdalene
This is also Alley’s first SLT show. Here she examines the role of her character in the production.
“Mary is a controversial figure a I think most people immediately recall her biblical ties with prostitution so she’s seen as nothing more than her profession, or as Judas puts it “a woman of her kind.” I wanted to portray a more human side to her rather than focus on that, so to fully connect with her character I had to delve deeper. Through my research, I found that she was one of Christ’s most devoted followers, and was believed to be there during his crucifixion and resurrection.
Despite her label of being an outcast or unworthy, she found a great acceptance from Christ and his teachings of redemption and forgiveness and during the last few days of his life she is dealing with an emotional crisis. The song ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ shows Mary acknowledging her inner conflict of not knowing how to cope with her emotions whilst foreseeing the end. From Bryon’s direction, we also see that Mary and Judas are on opposite sides of a love triangle with Jesus.”
Claire Moffat – Member of the Ensemble
Claire has worked behind the scenes on two previous SLT shows, but this is her first as a performer.
“When I heard that SLT was putting on Jesus Christ Superstar, I knew I wanted to be involved. I’m usually more of a backstage person, but I love singing and am a massive fan of this show, so I thought I’d give it a go and audition for the ensemble. The experience has been so much more than I thought it would be. I’ve been introduced to so many lovely people that I might never have met, and have been impressed at everyone’s talent.
This production that Bryon, Gerard and Anna are creating is very special. They are so great at what they do that I feel really lucky to be a part of it.
As we approach opening night, it’s exciting to see everything coming together. It’s going to be amazing!”
Photos © RubyLdn
Jesus Christ Superstar plays in the Main Hall Tuesday, August 23 – Saturday, August 27 at 8pm with an additional matinee at 2pm on the Saturday.