Jesus Christ Superstar returns

Jesus Christ Superstar Picture credit Pamela Raith
Jesus Christ Superstar Picture credit Pamela Raith

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ground-breaking rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar returns to the Palace Theatre in Manchester next week.

Glenn Carter takes the title role, one he has played in the West End, on Broadway and on film. His extensive musical theatre credits include leading roles in Whistle Down the Wind, Les Misérables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Godspell and Merrily We Roll Along.

Welsh baritone Rhydian Roberts joins the company as Pontius Pilate. He shot to fame in 2007 as the runner-up on The X Factor. Since then he has established himself as a double platinum recording artist, completing two sell-out tours and more recently starring in national tours of The Rocky Horror Show, Grease and We Will Rock You.

His latest album One Day Like This reached number one in the Classical Charts.

X Factor finalist Rachel Adedeji joins the cast as Mary Magdalene, direct from the UK and European tour of Thriller Live.

Jesus Christ Superstar remains as compelling today as it was at its inception more than 40 years ago. It features some of musical theatre’s most legendary songs from I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Everything’s Alright, Gethsemane and the title song.

The show runs from Monday to Saturday with Wednesday and Saturday matinees.

Box office: 0844 8713018 or www.atgtickets.com/manchester

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the best-selling novel of forbidden friendship, comes to the stage for the first time at the Lowry in Salford next week.

The story of the forbidden friendship between the child of a concentration camp commandant and a Jewish boy, is staged by The Children’s Touring Partnership.

It is seen through the eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old whose forbidden friendship with Shmuel, a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence, has startling and devastating consequences.

The role of Bruno will be played by 10-year-old Cameron Duncan, who played Benji in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, alongside Jason Donovan, in 2013. Starring as Shmuel is Samuel Peterson who has played the role of John in Peter Pan at the Churchill Theatre.

John Boyne’s 2006 novel has sold millions of copies, appeared at number 1 on The New York Times’ bestseller list, and was adapted into a feature film in 2008.

Speaking of the stage adaptation, John says: “Children need to be made aware of matters of racism and the hatred of difference. I’d like young people in the audience to realise that these issues don’t just occur in the big world but in their inner world as well.”

The book has been adapted by Angus Jackson, associate director of Chichester Festival Theatre, whose credits include Neville’s Island and The Browning Version.

There is an education programme attached to the production and additional matinee performances to accommodate school parties.

It is recommended for ages 11 plus and runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

Box Office: 0843 208 6005 or www.thelowry.com

New Live Theatre Company are set to unleash Dragged Up on Manchester audiences.

Described as an ugly tale of love, devastation, manipulation and consequences, it will be presented at just four shows at the Eagle Inn Theatre near the Blueprint Studios off Trinity Way/Blackfriars Road next Wednesday and Thursday. This dramatic piece features actors Kayla Huszar (Rachel), Darren Gates (Stuart) and Iain Rodrick Mundell (Elliot). The production will feature live music composed by musician Thurston Thomson from the band Buoy. See www.NewLiveTheatre.co.uk