Retro feel for religious musical hit

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Godspell - Lowther Pavilion, Lythamn

Lytham turns retro this week with St Annes Parish Operatic Society’s production of this classic 1970’s rock musical, based on the Gospel of St Matthew. Written by Stephen Schwartz, (the mastermind behind recent West End hit ‘Wicked’), it is 40 years since it was first staged off-Broadway and is certainly a musical well ahead of its time – a sort of cross between ‘Superstar’ and ‘Hair.’ Under the expert direction of Lynda Clarkson and innovative choreography by Elaine Morrison, this production is stylish, polished and effervescent.

With a small select cast of 21, the action takes place on a raised cross shaped platform on the floor of the auditorium, with the musicians (led by Chris Andrews) encased on the stage behind a wall of barbed wire. Creative lighting and holy smoke provide numerous atmospheres for the vivacious cast to sing, dance and dramatize their way through the parables.

This is very much a team ensemble production with most of the talented cast performing a solo number. Tony Lancaster plays Jesus with great charisma, stage presence, acting and vocal ability. Preparing the way is his sidekick John the Baptist/Judas, commandingly and convincingly played by Chris Campbell.

Several familiar songs stand out including ‘Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord’ and the 1972 smash hit single ‘Day by Day.’

Yes, it’s quirky. Yes, it’s different. But use your imagination and listen to the Good News. Spread the word. Godspell runs nightly at 7.30pm till Saturday (2.30pm Saturday matinee) .

Tickets available on 01253 794221

Sarah Jane Stone