Printable CopyGODSPELL
Irregular Productions
The Parks Theatre
Until 19 May 2018

Review by Maggie Wood

Director Karen Sheldon has delivered an intense, joyful and enjoyable theatrical experience with “Godspell”, even for a tired old pagan like me.

Using parables from mainly Matthew’s gospel, the show charts, by way of story and song, the pathway of Jesus from the beginning of his preaching to his death by state execution. This is a pared-back telling, concentrating on themes of love and forgiveness. It is set in modern day, rich in contemporary symbolism, and portrays Jesus as the wise fool.

The production quality is evident everywhere – in the lighting by Brad Sax, sound by Jamie Mensforth, set by David Lampard, choreography by Kerry-Lynne Hauber and costumes/styling by Chloe Hall.

The music, directed by Martin Cheney and performed by the four piece band is superb, and fills the theatre at The Parks centre – surely one of Adelaide’s best theatres and a true hidden gem.

When it comes to casting the high production values continue.

Mark Oates is a funny, charismatic and flawed Jesus. Oates is both engaging and enigmatic in this role which uses his soaring voice to great effect.

Joshua Angeles as John/Judas provides the heartbreaking counterpoint to the redeemer’s message of love and forgiveness.

The ensemble cast includes Harry Nguyen, Jemma Allen, Katie Packer, Maya Miller, Nick Munday, Ron Abelita, Ruby Pinkerton and Scarlett Anthony – all universally top-quality performers who bring everything they have to the stage.

Some of the most sublime moments happen when the beautiful massed voices soar in harmonic swoops to deliver Steven Schwartz’s timeless songs. While not a religious experience, it was certainly a benediction of sorts, and one that will not be forgotten.

Flawless is the word that comes to mind when thinking of this production. “Godspell” is a marvellous night out – the recommendation is to get there and see it!