The Barn Theatre,
25 Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey
RH8 0AA.

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Jesus Christ Superstar

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From the Minack News - September 2010

And the winner is...
At the end of a season the question on the lips of many of our regulars is often 'Which show is going to win the Minack Trophy?' In a season which included many highlights, the favourites for best show of the year were 'Jesus Christ Superstar', 'James and the Giant Peach', 'Love's Labour's Lost' and 'Hot Mikado'. Those of you who saw these shows and others, may well have your own favourites but the Trophy has been awarded to The Barnstormers for their superb production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Congratulations to everyone involved with this spectacular show.

A Review of Jesus Christ Superstar for The Cornishman by Frank Ruhrmund
3rd June 2010

At the Minack

A MIRACLE would have been welcome at the Minack on Monday but, although we were in the presence of the great miracle worker himself Jesus Christ Superstar and perhaps because, after all, it was a bank holiday it was not to be.

However, although it rained from start to finish, it failed to prevent either the Surrey-based Barnstormers from coming up with a superb version of this Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera, or the majority of their huge audience from staying and enjoying its every gripping moment.

When first performed in New York, in praising it one of the city's critics reckoned it would be around for a long time to come.That was all of 40 years ago and it is still going strong.

Directed by Neil Reynolds and played in modern dress which, with its men in suits and shades, its guards with their riot shields, and a populace ready to shout "Hosanna" as well as and, almost in the same breath, "Crucify him", adds to its relevance.

Choreographed by Fran Newitt with musical direction by Ian Skipper, the patterns of movement are as varied as they are vibrant, the band is splendid, and the ensemble playing as disciplined as it is dedicated.

A word, too, for production designer Jill "Wigs" Wilson and technical director Bruce Reed, for everyone, in fact, who help make this production such an unforgettable experience. While its set pieces, The Last Supper to King Herod's Song, the suicide of Judas Iscariot to the Crucifixion, are supremely well staged, at the same time and, as it were, despite its rock 'n' rolling, foot stomping and swinging background, and the fact that its storyline is so well known, it is ultimately very moving.

While the sincerity of the large cast, whether apostles, dancers, soul girls, palm wavers or leading characters is as striking as the courage they displayed when singing and dancing in the rain on their opening night, there are particularly excellent performances from Helen Bartlett as the caring Mary "I Don't Know How To Love Him" Magdalen: Paul Longhurst who makes the very most of one of the show's top numbers "King Herod's Song": Sean Kingsley as the troubled Judas Iscariot who has more than heaven and pieces of silver on his mind; and Stuart Matthew Price who in the difficult role of the doomed Jesus Christ is, indeed and in every sense, a Superstar.


From: Mike Moss
Sent: 30 September 2010 08:38
Subject: Minack Theatre


Your write up, especially re the Minack Cup and all of the photos, was excellent.

Knowing the Minack Theatre, as I lived in Penzance for some 12 years, and Frank Ruhrmund from my Scouting days down there, I was well able to visualise the production - I just wish I could have been there to see it.

Congratulations to all concerned.

Mike Moss

From: Paul Jeram
Sent: 06 June 2010 20:03
Subject: Photos from Minack Theatre

Please find below a link to few photographs I took last Tuesday at your performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. The performance and the atmosphere these were both amazing and it was the perfect backdrop for the performance.
If you click on each of the thumbnail images you can enlarge them and then scroll through the larger images if you wish

Kind regards Paul

From: J A Trodden
Sent: 08 June 2010 21:21
Subject: Jesus Christ Superstar

I was at the Wednesday Matinee performance of Jesus Christ Superstar and I want to congratulate The Barnstormers and the really talented musicians on a truly brilliant performance which was right up there with the Norman Jewison Film in terms of quality and far ahead of the stage version I saw at the Palace Theatre in the 1970's

Tony Trodden
Tyne & Wear

From: David Newberry
Sent: 05 June 2010 17:03
Subject: JCSS

Hi, I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar at The Minack on Thursday evening, and I have to say that this was one of the best productions I've seen, and I've seen a few! JCSS has always been my favourite musical, I first saw it on it's first night at The Palace Theatre in Cambridge Circus, 1971 I think, and have seen numerous productions since in various parts of the country. Hall for Cornwall a few years ago, and now The Minack.
Now for the 'big ask'!! I noticed some of the crew wearing JCSS/Minack fleeces. Any chance of 'acquiring' one? I'm quite happy to pay, and for the postage back to Cornwall, size XL! (I did buy a programme and a poster on the night!).
Keep up the good work, and please consider my 2nd favourite musical, 'Blood Brothers' if you are returning to The Minack.

Dave Newberry

From: Jane
Sent: 02 June 2010 20:46
Subject: Jesus Christ Superstar


Never heard of you guys before but today I went to see JCSS at the Minack theatre. No just an A star performance but A Star with a million pluses!
I saw the film back in the 70's and always loved it. Now second time around and some 30+ years later I wasn't disappointed. Fantastic, so moving and emotional. Just a perfectly brilliant performance, well done all of you, I just had to say thankyou for such a memorable show, you obviously put every single ounce of energy and emotion into it.
A million thanks


Joy Constable phoned to say that she went to the Minack last night (Monday) and just had to call to thank the Barnstormers for such a wonderful and stunning show despite the elements. She was very disappointed that some of the audience left at half time as the weather didn't affect the performance. She asked that her thanks be conveyed to the cast. She goes to the Minack quite often together with her son and said it was probably the best show she had seen there.

A selection of photographs at the Minack Theatre by Pete Marr and others

A selection of photographs at the Minack Theatre by Rachel Hosken

A selection of photographs at the Minack Theatre by Paul Jeram


2010 is well and truly upon us and that must mean that The Barnstormers tour to the Minack in Cornwall is now looming on the horizon. 'Jesus Christ Superstar' has a full cast of over 50 performers and rehearsals have recently got off to an encouraging start.

The production team of Neil Reynolds (Director), Ian Skipper (Musical Director) and Fran Reynolds (Choreographer) are overwhelmed by the exceptional talent amongst the principals, dancers and chorus and are delighted finally to get to grips with this iconic show. We've no doubt that JCS will be one of the theatrical highlights of 2010.

The Barnstormers will be performing 'Jesus Christ Superstar' at the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Cornwall ( from Monday 31st May to Friday 4th June 2010 and we hope that some of you will be able to travel down and support them. The Minack Theatre box office (01736 810181) opens on 22nd March.

Dress Rehearsals at Laverock School - Sunday 23rd May

For those that won't be able to make the journey down to Cornwall, The Barnstormers are pleased to announce that they will be staging two dress rehearsals in the open-air on the tennis courts at Laverock School, immediately adjacent to the Barn's rear 'cast' car park.

There will be two performances on Sunday 23rd May at 2.00pm and 5.30pm open to all friends, family and Barn supporters that would like to come along. Numbers will be limited, so please call the Barn Theatre Box Office on 01959 561811 to reserve your place.

As these two Dress Rehearsals will be taking place in the open-air on all weather tennis courts, we are asking that everyone bring along their own chairs/rugs etc to sit on and you are also welcome to bring along a picnic to enjoy whilst you are watching the show. Access to the tennis courts will be via the Barn Theatre, so those arriving by car will be able to park in the Barn's car park as usual.

The Barnstormers are very grateful to the governors of Laverock School for allowing them use of their facilities, and we would encourage as many of you as possible to get along and support these two Dress Rehearsals. These will be the final two performances before the cast, crew and helpers head down to Cornwall a week later, so let's make sure we send them off on a high! Once again, spaces will be limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!

For more info on the production, check out the Facebook group 'Jesus Christ Superstar at the Minack Theatre - May 2010' or contact Richard Allen on