Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and ex-Spice Girl Mel Chisholm have been named as the latest cast members in Jesus Christ Superstar.
The first ever arena UK arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical is due to begin on September 21, but first the producers must find a Jesus, and to do so they are turning to the tried and tested method of a TV talent show. Superstar will be on ITV and will see a collection of would-be stage stars battle it out for the leading role in front of a panel of judges including Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jason Donovan.
It has been known for some time that comedian Tim Minchin will play Judas Iscariot, but it was believed – until today – that Nicole Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls would be playing Mary Magdalene with Mel C on the judging panel. The news that Chisholm is taking the role instead has pleased musical fans, as the popstar has West End stage experience.
The revelation that Chris Moyles is playing King Herod has not been so warmly welcomed, but the tubby DJ proved during Celebrity X Factor in 2006 that he can hold a tune, so it remains to be seen whether the casting is an act of desperation or a stroke of genius.
Chris Moyles said: “To receive a phonecall from Andrew is very cool, but then when he asks you to be in his musical that’s pretty amazing and there is only one thing to respond with… And that is yes! Absolutely! My mum’s gonna be well excited!”
Andrew Lloyd Webber added: “Jesus Christ Superstar began life as an album followed by a sell-out arena tour of the US. Our very first show was at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where we played to over 13,000 people. Tim and I have always wanted to take Superstar back to its roots and we are both delighted that it will finally play an arena tour in the UK in venues where many of the world’s great rock acts have gone before. We’re thrilled to have such great talent in the cast for the new show – they are all true ambassadors of UK entertainment. The re-mastered album sounds fantastic and we hope that fans both old and new will enjoy it.”
Tickets go on sale on May 18, visit www.jesuschristsuperstar.com for more information.
Jesus Christ Superstar Tour Dates
Friday 21 September – London O2 Arena
Tuesday 25 September – Glasgow SECC
Friday 28 September – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Sunday 30 September – Manchester Arena
Tuesday 2 October – Cardiff Motorpoint
Thursday 4 October – Birmingham NIA
Thursday 9 October – Belfast Odyssey
Friday 12 October – Dublin O2
Tuesday 16 October – Liverpool Echo Arena
Friday 19 October – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Sunday 21 October – Sheffield Motorpoint