REVIEW: Superstar performances as top musical comes to All Saints Church in Leighton Buzzard

All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard
All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock musical is an ambitious project for any local group to tackle, yet with its theme of the last few days of the life of Christ it seems appropriate for an enthusiastic and highly competent church choir to consider giving it a go near to Easter.

An augmented All Saints’ church choir did just that last weekend, putting together an evening of drama, colour and sound in a way which touched audiences and left them all wondering “what happened next?”.

Leighton’s parish church was well filled on the Friday and the Saturday evenings with audiences covering a wide age range, who were treated to first-rate performances of a very high standard, both musically and dramatically.

The part of Jesus was played by Max Thomas, a young man with highlights in his hair and a wide vocal range, every inch the young superstar. Sian Price played Mary Magdalene and sang with clarity and conviction that visibly moved all.

Leighton’s Vicar, Grant Fellows, was King Herod and clearly enjoyed the part stirring up the audience to laugh and to sing along in a black comedic way.

The minimalist set was designed by Colin Aldous who also skilfully directed the show and the Musical Director was Paul Dickens, who is also Director of Music at All Saints. He conducted the 33 singers and the excellent 11 part orchestra throughout both evenings.

Most of the church’s choir had parts, including Robin Dawson as Caiaphas, Peter Mundy as St Peter and Andrew Olleson as Pilate. Judas was played and sung by Joshua Perry in an earnest and, at times sinister, way. Simon was Max Young and Annas , Ed Ficek.

The church’s sophisticated lighting added to the atmosphere in a remarkable way, making it an evening to remember.