The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
June 23, 24, 25 & 26, 1999.
Conceived & Originally Directed by John-Michael Tebelak
Music & New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Anthony Muzzall – Jesus
Adrian Kenward – John the Baptist / Judas
Julie Le Manquais
Keyboards – Katalin Szeless, Andrew Stewart
Bass & Acoustic Guitar – Bob Ryder
Percussion – Jonathan Dawes
Musical Director – Katalin Szeless
Choreographer – Trudy Nash
Designer – Amanda Evans
Lighting – Ralph Dawes
Stage Manager – Dave Collis
Set Construction & Painting – Brian Box
Set Construction & Painting – Dave Collis
Set Construction & Painting – Dave Comber
Set Construction & Painting – Mike Davy
Set Construction & Painting – Mark Flower
Set Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Construction & Painting – Frances Thorne
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Sound – Dave Hill
Sound – Frank Child
Sound – Greg Starns
ASM – Joan Bearman
Front of House Manager – Mark Flower
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Judith Berrill
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Frances Thorne
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Programme Note #1: Godspell
BD wrote “Ever since I directed Godspell in St. Michael’s and All Angels Church for the Council of Churches over a decade ago, I have wanted to present it again. That production was enormously exciting and successful.
As the founder member of Wick, there couldn’t have been a better time for me to do it and I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity of directing Godspell as the final production in our wonderful 50th Season.
We have had a lot of pleasure preparing the show for you and I hope you enjoy the show with us and see why it holds such a special place in my heart.
Thank you very much for your continued support of the Wick shows which is very much appreciated and we look forward to entertaining you over the next 50 years.”
Review #1: Godspell
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: July 1 1999 issue – page 2
Reviewer: Derek Fraser
Text Header: “The sweet spell of success for Wick”
I LOVED Godspell when I first saw it many years ago, so I wondered if Wick Theatre Company’s production at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, could possibly meet my expectations. I need not have worried. Music, design and dancing all worked together to make up a production that was bright, fresh and seamless. The songs were well performed, some exceptionally so, with secure support from the band. The movement was well worked and the dancing was performed with great energy and precision. Congratulations must go to the whole production team, headed by director Betty Dawes.
The set, an adventure playground with an inner-city feel, was entirely appropriate and effectively used. Antony Muzzall as Jesus struck the right note when he emerged to ask John the Baptist [Adrian Kenward] for a ‘wash’. He somewhat strained at his opening number, but had good presence and established the essential rapport with the group. Adrian, as well as giving the show a secure start as John the Baptist, contributed dramatic energy as Judas and considerable physical energy in the dancing.
The cast’s goodbyes to Jesus were genuinely moving and the dramatic chords at the crucifixion were followed by stillness, leaving the audience spellbound, before the cast carried out the body of Jesus.
They came back for a standing ovation from a capacity audience demanding encores, a fitting end to Wick’s glittering 50th anniversary season.
Review #2: Godspell
Publication: Wick Newsletter
Publication Data: January 1999
Reviewer: Derek Fraser
I loved Godspell when I first saw it many years ago, so wondered if any other production could possibly meet my expectations. I need not to have worried. Music, design, dancing and acting all worked together to make up a production that was bright, fresh and seamless, with an excellent ‘feel good’ factor.
The songs were well performed, some exceptionally so, with very secure support from the band. The movement was well worked out and the dancing was performed with great energy and precision. Congratulations must go to Betty for overall direction, as well as to Kati as musical director, Trudy as choreographer and Amanda for design.
The set, an adventure playground with an inner city feel, was entirely appropriate and effectively used. ‘Being a little children’ was accentuated with nods towards the “Magic Roundabout” and, briefly, the “Teletubbies”, together with a general air of playfulness.
The acting out of the parables was inventive and amusing with the cast using a variety of accents in the vocalisation of the various characters – though I wondered just how many ‘alreadys’ we were going to get in the ‘The Prodigal Son’! I particularly liked the sheep and the goats.
Godspell is an ensemble piece where by definition everyone has to work for everyone else. If cast members are not individually mentioned in this review it is not to belittle their contribution. Everyone had their special moment and everyone worked well together to create an almost tangible company spirit.
I was a little unsure about the beginning. I missed the link between the philosophers and the start of the action on the stage. I didn’t hear the words of the rap song either and I did think the mention of Euros was possibly an update too far!
Antony Muzzall as Jesus struck the right note when he emerged to ask John the Baptist for a ‘wash’. He somewhat strained at his opening number but had good presence and established the essential rapport with the group. If they didn’t always get the message, he was there to support and guide. His talks with his Father, both on his mobile phone and, very differently, at Gethsemane, were handled well.
Adrian, as well as giving the show a secure start as John the Baptist, contributed dramatic energy as Judas and considerable physical energy in the dancing. Adrian and Antony worked well together in ‘All for the Best’.
Life is not all play, as we all know, and the darker, more dramatic moments needed to be brought out. I think that this was achieved – perhaps not quite as certainly, to my mind, as the sunnier side, but effectively enough.
When the cast took of their greasepaint, the mood changes. ‘On the Willows’ [with verses from psalm 137 – ‘By the Waters of Babylon’] worked as well as always and the cast’s goodbyes to Jesus were genuinely moving. The dramatic chords at the Crucifixion were followed by a stillness – leaving the audience spellbound. The cast processed out in affirmation of faith, carrying the body of Jesus.
They came back to a standing ovation from an audience that demanded encores. Suitably, we were given ‘We Beseech Thee’ an ensemble piece and dance that showed the cast at its best. Godspell was well attended, well received and a successful venture into a genre I had not previously seen at the Wick but one we could venture into again with confidence. I hope so.
Congratulations to all the may people involved on and off the stage.
Comment #1: Godspell
Author: Faye Rebecca Dumbrill
Heading: In praise of Godspell [and Hannah in particular] Comment:
Dear Cast, I really enjoyed your show and the best person in the show about Jesus was the lady with the blonde bunches. At first I was really scared when you had the torches but then it got better. I love watching plays as I wanted to be an actress when I’m older – I am only 7 years old now. I know a two year old who should be part of a musical as he is so lively like you.
I was really disappointed at the interval as I had to take my tired sister home but luckily I got back for the ending [strangely my sister is older than me]. When you took Jesus out I saw you put him down by the box office.
My mum wondered whether you were doing a Christmas pantomime and when. Please write back especially the girl with the blonde bunches.
Lots of luck.