Changing face of society makes way for Superstar

Building work on the new theatre

The Kings opens up its wartime secrets

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South Downes Musical Society decided it was time for a change. Their chairman thinks that most people look at musical societies and think people in the later years of their life, but the face of his acting company is changing beyond recognition.

Think big happy dance numbers and lots of rock drama; the South Downes Musical Society are doing Jesus Christ Superstar this July.

Alan Jenkins believes that because the average age of the group is getting younger, it was time to approach new subjects.

He said: ‘The dynamics of the society are changing because traditionally music societies are usually over fifties, but the make up of ours has changed dramatically. Now the average is something like 30 years old.

‘We do have people that are older but predominantly we are made up of people aged 18 to 35.’

Alan added: ‘We always try to keep the younger ones interested and Jesus Christ Superstar doesn’t come up very often.’

The rock opera was originally wrote by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice, and based loosely on the last week of Jesus’ life, leading up to his crucifixion.

Touching on the political and personal struggled between Judas Iscariot and Jesus, but combining it with the comedy of singing and dancing is what made the musical so popular upon its release in 1971.

Alan said: ‘Although it seems a dark production and there are some dark moments it is not like that. I am Herod, and have a very camp and flapper style number but there is always this serious underside to it. There is some fantastic music too.’

The musical is being produced by well known director, John Paul McCrohon, who started off as a member at the society and now runs CCADS.

Alan said: ‘It is a show for everybody, you don’t have to be a believer in a faith or anything. It is about deception and hope and honesty, how we all aspire and experience things.

‘We are really glad we’ve got it. It’s a challenge but it’s not something we’ve done before.’

‘We finished Showstoppers at the Kings theatre and we literally have had about 10 weeks to practise. It’s very intense.

‘Tickets are selling fast, and it’s going well.’

Tickets: Ferneham Hall, Fareham (01329) 231942 or fernehamhall.co.uk.

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