Rock religion presented a fresh contemporary approach to the most famous story ever told, inspired by and aimed at the youth culture cultivated throughout that decade. Godspell opened in New York in 1971, where it ran for over 1,200 performances, and later in the same year it opened at the Roundhouse in London. It proved a huge and enduring success on both sides of the Atlantic bringing with it some wonderful songs including Day by Day; Light of the World; Turn Back, O Man and Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord,.
Although these days we live in a more sophisticated and cynical age, the decade that spawned Godspell is once again in vogue; not only the music and fashion, but also the simpler ethos of the searching seventies are now under scrutiny. Over forty years on the music and message of Godspell have lost none of their energy or direct power – perhaps not surprising when we consider that the story is based around St Matthew’s Gospel, still going strong after nearly 2,000 years. Yet, whilst remaining true to the original spirits of the Godspell of the nineteen seventies, this production by Tynemouth Amateur Operatic Society will have its own uniquely contemporary approach. Brought to the stage by a young, vibrant and enthusiastic cast under the direction of Andrew Clarence and Helen Wilson, this twenty first century version of Godspell reflects the changed times, and its new approach to a timeless story promises to challenge, inspire and entertain us again in an entirely fresh way.
Performances from 16th – 20th July 7.30pm (2.30pm matinee on Saturday 20th) at Kings School, Tynemouth. See www.taos.org.uk for information.
by Hilary Reynolds