Christian production with A West End feel

The cast of Risen! ' The Musical, in rehearsal
The cast of Risen! ' The Musical, in rehearsal
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Rev Steve Marsh, curate, Holy Rood and St Edmund’s, Stubbington talks about the new performance of a Christian musical

I’M delighted to see that a Christian musical based on the story of Jesus’ resurrection will be performed by a professional cast in Portsmouth next month.

Risen! – The Musical was first performed two years ago in our church, Holy Rood, where it had a fantastic reception.

It used songs written by a member of our congregation, Ken Shearsmith.

Ken is quite unusual, in that he has no musical training at all, but relies on God to inspire him with melodies and lyrics. The songs he is inspired with are amazing.

The show has been completely revamped since we last saw it, and the new version will be premiered by a cast of 14 professionals who trained at the London College of Music. The show will also feature the award-winning Portsmouth University Gospel Choir.

The plot takes us through the last week of Jesus’s life, including the Last Supper, Jesus’s crucifixion and the reaction of his disciples, then his resurrection and his appearance to those disciples.

It shows us just how amazing it must have been for them to see their friend Jesus risen from the dead.

There was a studio-produced double CD of Risen! – The Musical and the person who mastered the songs is a lecturer at the London College of Music.

He spoke to a colleague in the performing arts department, Niamh McGuckin, who recruited a cast of postgraduates with degrees in musical theatre.

It means the production will have a real West End feel. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like now – I’m sure it will be a very powerful production.

It will be one of the first productions in the recently-revamped New Theatre Royal, on Guildhall Walk.

It will be staged at 7.30pm on November 6, and at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on November 7.

It is fantastic that Risen! – The Musical will be part of an iconic venue like the New Theatre Royal and I’m looking forward to seeing how that has changed too.

Risen!- The Musical is produced by Mustard Seed Songs in association with Faith and Football.

Tickets are priced at £16.50 and £14.50 (£10 for the matinee) and are available on (023) 9264 9000.

RISEN! – THE MUSICAL

New Theatre Royal, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth

November 6: 7.30pm

November 7: 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Tickets: £16.50/£14.50/£10 available on 023-9264 9000 or newtheatreroyal.com

Details: risenthemusical.com.