Preparing to stage the musical Jesus Christ Superstar at the Gaiety Theatre with Luke Kelly as Herod and Colm Wilkinson as Judas.

Rehearsals for the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar are underway in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin with Luke Kelly from The Dubliners finding his feet as King Herod.

Cathal O'Shannon visits the third day of rehearsals for the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar produced by Noel Pearson at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin where 

A certain amount of shambles still has to be sorted out.

The production directed by Alan Simpson, stars Tony Kenny as Jesus Christ, Luke Kelly from The Dubliners as King Herod and Colm Wilkinson as Judas Iscariot. Musical director Phil Coulter is still trying to pull the cast and orchestra together. 

Off stage, Luke Kelly practises his big number ‘So You're The King of the Jews’ with dancers and Joe McCarthy who is due to take over the role shortly.

Alan Simpson must accommodate a cast of thirty plus thirty more musicians on the relatively restrictive Gaiety stage. It is a large undertaking but

The numbers in this are dictated by certain factors, some of them biblical and some of them practical, the biblical one is you’ve got to have 12 apostles because convent ladies will count.

He is not worried about turning cast members from showbands and ballad groups into actors. In some respects it is easier to make singers act, than actors sing.

This will be Colm Wilkinson’s first appearance in a stage production. He is paying Judas as a sympathetic character whereas Luke Kelly is playing Herod with a touch of camp. Luke is anxious about performing because,

First of all I don’t know me words and secondly I don’t know where me feet are, I’m supposed to dance in this.

Luke believes the show is profound and reaffirming,

I think if you’re not moved by this show then there is something lacking in your sense of Christianity.

This episode of 'Tangents' was broadcast on 20 March 1973. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.