Godspell

Stephen Schwartz’s musical about Jesus might not be quite as famous as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s counterpart, but it’s just as notorious. Taking a group of people, inserting Jesus into their lives and watching as he teaches, through song and speech, the words of the Bible, the show itself can make for uncomfortable viewing, especially with it often being accused of being too ‘happy-clappy’.This is not so for Stage by Stage’s production. Featuring a selection of students from the stage school, it is what you’d expect in that context - a very good school play, but nothing groundbreaking.

Where these actors really shine is in their dance, performing complex routines surprisingly well. Vocally, few performers actually wow, but the actress playing Jesus had an incredible belt that would probably make Idina Menzel herself jealous. Also referred to as Laura, she did exceptionally well at leading the show through its journey from initial hope to crucifixion - her shining moment being that incredibly moving final scene on the cross.

There is a lack of consistency in quality throughout the piece, with different cast members showing off very different skills - some more suited to dance, some to singing. The decision to split the roles of John and Judas (normally doubled) meant more members of the cast got to show off their talents, though left the latter somewhat ignored until quite late on in the show. Similarly, a lack of awareness of the backgrounds of characters and their individual stories meant that a lot of songs and monologues had to be taken at face value, making the show more like a song cycle than anything else; it struggles to form a coherent plot-line in what is already a difficult musical to follow for the uninitiated. The mish-mash of fashions, though visually stimulating, left many loose threads that were never explained away, perhaps the fault of over-complicated direction rather than lack of thought.

Stage by Stage’s Godspell is by no means a bad show, it is just a stepping stone for bright young things as they work their way up - both in age and in skill - and is probably best suited to enthusiasts rather than someone seeking a way to kill an hour in the morning.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

The award-winning drama school returns with the explosion of energy that is Stephen Schwartz's legendary rock musical! ‘Easily the best amateur show I have seen in a very long time’ (Herald Express, for The King and I).

Most Popular See More

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets