Skip to content

Search for a Superstar?

January 11, 2012

Unconfirmed rumours have it that a new “TV Casting” series is in the offing, with Andrew Lloyd Webber looking to find a leading man (or men) for a new arena tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

My guess is that “Made In Calvary” (the preferred title over “The † Factor,” “You Rang, M’Lord” and “Christ Cross Quiz”) will see first round auditionees forming long lines outside various chapels up and down the country, hoping to impress the choir-masters.

Those lucky enough to be “raised up” to the next level will report to “Herod’s Kindergarten” for the elimination stage. A gruelling selection process climaxes in the famous “walk across the swimming pool” – with anybody actually making it over getting an automatic place in the final 12 disciples, and the rest being selected from among those who don’t actually drown.

Making it through to the live TV shows, the 12 will face a panel consisting of “The Lord” himself, The Archbishop of Canterbury and Imogen Thomas (who will also lead a spinoff show searching for ‘Mary’ on Babestation an hour later). This panel are a late choice after Satan pleaded busy with his “Britain’s Got Talent” series, and both the Pope and Katie Price turned it down for being “too tacky.”

As ever, each night contestants will sing one ‘popular’ song, plus a hymn. Once all contestants have sung, the phone lines will be open to supplicants. Calls will cost no more than 30 pieces of silver from a BT Landline, mobile providers may charge more. Don’t call after the ‘Last Supper’ as your prayers will not be answered but you may still be charged.

Yes, once phonelines close, the disciples will gather around a long table, and a Judas will announce the results “in no particular order.” The two with the fewest votes will be dragged away by Roman soldiers and nailed (fake) to two crosses in front of the judging panel.

After a final sing-off, Andrew Lloyd Webber will decide which of the two will be “resurrected” and come back next week. The loser will then be required to throw down his crown of thorns as he ascends towards the studio ceiling in a cloud of dry ice singing the final notes from the show as he does. This nearly causes a riot in the first episode when, instead of the final theme from “Superstar” being played, the “Up, Up, Up to the Heaviside Layer” closing sequence from “Cats” is accidentally substituted.

The credits will roll, and the show’s sponsor will assure us that “B and Q have all your hardware and materials needs.”


Regular readers of this blog might be surprised at how cynical I am about this idea, given what a huge fan I am of these casting programmes. Somehow, this time, it just doesn’t seem quite so tasteful. The show itself is magical, and from it I easily understood precisely why Christianity inspires so many – it is founded on an amazing tale of faith indeed. It’s also about a man exhibiting a great degree of humility, though… something at odds with the brashness of television.

The Muslim faith have a deeply protective attitude towards their revered icons and strictly forbid their physical representation at all. Somehow, with ideas like this around, I do rather see their point. I do hope the stage show goes ahead, and no doubt I’ll watch the TV show too if that does – but it’s a fine line and I do rather hope any production team make a perfect job of staying on the right side of it.

  1. Sarah Louise permalink
    January 11, 2012 10:03 am

    Very witty ! Personally I would be be in Rapture if Jesus Christ Superstar was Born Again ! Oh how I have missed it – and if this is what it takes for it to be resurrected then that it fine with me .. I just hope they dont make a mess iah of it !!

    • Steve Rich permalink*
      January 11, 2012 10:29 am

      Thanks Sarah Louise. Love the “Born Again” and “Messiah” gags 🙂 Totally agree it’d be good to see the show again… and the ticket offer where 5 seats accommodate 2000 people will be amazing…

      • Sarah Louise permalink
        January 11, 2012 10:52 am

        Hallelujah !! 😀 – Now that would indeed be a miracle ! The only downside is I am not sure about it being an Arena Tour … although I will of course attend I would prefer the intimicacy of a traditional theatre ( as it has always been performed !) I wonder if it will be screened in cinemas as from experience this is the preferred way to see a show in an Arena environment ( after having experienced the atmosphere of the real event of course !) You just cant beat the multiple views of a camera angle.. and to be honest the atmosphere in the cinema when I went see The Les Mis 25th Anniversary was every bit as good as actually being there – standing ovation and all !!

      • Steve Rich permalink*
        January 11, 2012 12:38 pm

        When the original concept album was released, there were in fact a number of unauthorised performances in big sports venues etc. These were part of the reason it was staged on Broadway in the USA first, as they reasoned the show could fill a theatre if it could fill a stadium.

        I agree a film would be great too – the Gale Edwards “Superstar” DVD is worth seeing if we don’t get a recording this time, too.


  1. Circle of strife: Will Tim Rice veto ‘Superstar’ casting? | rageoffstage

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: