Godspell is based on the parables of the Gospel according to St. Luke and has played around the world in various guises for more than 30 years. Simply staged, it is apparent from the sinister undertones of the opening few bars that this production intends to be a darker retelling set during the riots of the troubled summer of 2011. Unfortunately, this context is only briefly referenced at the beginning and end of the show. Save for some 'I Love London' t-shirts worn by the cast throughout, the riots become irrelevant for the majority of the show, which seemed like a missed opportunity.
There were some good performances evident in this production. Lewis Holliday provided a confident lead as John the Baptist / Judas Iscariot, showcasing his talents as both an actor and singer. The problem was that not all of the cast are as good. There awere some pitchy voices and some missed (or unattempted) top notes at times. It is unusual to use radio mics in a space this small and sometimes the cast are competing with excessive volume or rustling feedback from live microphones. When actresses like Emma Acton take the lead in songs, it is often to the detriment of some of the shakier vocalists. However, this remains a valiant and brave production and the singing is generally of a good standard throughout.
The show grew in confidence as it progressed and really found its stride in the last half hour. The cast became visibly emboldened and the performances were far more confident. Songs such as 'All for the Best' were handled well by the cast really pulling together, even when the lead vocals falter somewhat. 'All Good Gifts' and 'Light of the World' were among the best performances of the show and the retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son was inspired comedy. The climax of the show was creatively staged and genuinely moving as it revisited the London riots setting. Overall, this is a promising performance from a young cast of school students. This production is good fun and the students of Glenalmond College are definitely deserving of your time and support.