Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Operatic society’s Kenton show is divinely inspired

Operatic society’s Kenton show is divinely inspired

FOLLOWING its near
sell-out run of Annie last September, Reading Operatic Society is returning to the Kenton Theatre with one of the most influential Broadway musicals of the past 50 years.

Based on the four New Testament gospels, particularly St Matthew, Godspell uses the parables and passion story of Jesus as the basis of an inventively theatrical and interactive show about the formation of a community.

A spokesman for Reading Operatic Society said: “The story unfolds through games, storytelling techniques, comically timed moments, dance and music.

“You’ll recognise the show’s big tunes — Day by Day, Prepare Ye, All Good Gifts — and hear more songs that will stay with you for ever. You’ll experience a wide range of genres, from pop to vaudeville, plus humour, emotion ... oh, and roller skating — before everything changes.

“Reading Operatic Society will be presenting the 2012 revival version, which improves an already great score made famous by the 1973 film version. Make a date to join the super-talented cast as they engage with you in building a Beautiful City.”

Godspell is playing at the New Street venue from Thursday, September 19, to Saturday, September 21. Performances are at 7.45pm and there is a 3pm matinee on the Saturday. One member of the cast who will be doing double duty is Chris Reddington. In what will be his first principal role, he plays both John the Baptist and Judas Iscariot. “I’ve had named parts in the past,” says Chris, “but this is my first ‘lead’ role. It’s very exciting — I feel like I’ve been given a great chance to develop some of my existing skills and try my hand at building out some new skills along the way.

“The cast have been brilliant and working alongside Ajani Cabey — who is playing our Jesus and is going to give a stunning performance — has been an absolute pleasure.”

Speaking of which, what can the audience most look forward to?

“The great thing about our production of Godspell is that we’ve been given the opportunity to bring in a lot of variety,” says Chris. “There aren’t many musicals that can let you explore numerous genres such as pop to vaudeville, make you laugh one moment and experience deep emotion in the next.

“Adding into the mix dance numbers, some inspired by Bob Fosse, sign language for a particularly moving moment of the show, and plenty of improvisation and audience participation — it’s going to be a fun evening for everyone, including us on stage!

“All of this is with a cast of 13, so it’s very different to other shows that you’ll see because we barely get a chance to leave the stage — so we have to work as a team and keep our spirits and energy high, as it’s a lot of work!”

Tickets are £19 with concessions £17. For more information and to book, call (01491) 575698 or visit

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