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ITV’s Superstar | Ben Forster wins role of a lifetime as Jesus in Andrew Lloyd Webber TV search to cast Jesus Christ Superstar

July 25, 2012 

It’s finally over! The search to find a Jesus to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar has concluded. In a tense final on Wednesday 25 June 2012, the three finalists – Rory Taylor, Roger Wright and Ben Forster – battled it out to win a public vote to secure their dream role.

BEN FORSTER as Jesus in Jesus Christ SuperstarAnd Ben Forster, 31, was crowned the winner, securing the major role of Jesus in the new production.

On winning the role Ben said: “I can not believe it – I did not expect this to happen, If you come and see us I will do you so proud. I can’t wait to start working with Mel and Andrew.”

National Youth Theatre and Italia Conti stage school alumni, Ben has played Doody in Grease and appeared on The X Factor in 2009. But winning TV talent show Superstar will project his career into the league of international performers.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has followed his BBC searches to cast the stars of Joseph, The Sound of Music, Oliver! and The Wizard of Oz with his most ambitious TV talent search yet.

In Superstar, the Lord moved over to ITV1 in his new search to find a Jesus to star in a major new Arena tour production of his and Tim Rice’s classic musical Jesus Christ Superstar – finally crowning Ben Forster in the role.

The nationwide search for a rock arena superstar will now see Ben Forster star alongside comedian and Matilda co-writer Tim Minchin as Judas, Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles as Herod.

“Presenting a new, 2012 version of Jesus Christ Superstar for arenas is truly exciting,” said Lord Lloyd Webber when launching the search. “Some of the best performances of this show have been in rock venues and I’m thrilled to see the show return to its roots. ITV is providing the perfect platform for us to find a new, British Superstar.”

Auditions took place in early 2012 in London, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff, with casting judges Melanie C, Jason Donovan and David Grindrod helping Andrew audition thousands of hopefuls to get down to a selection of Finalists.

Eleven finalists made it through to the live studio shows hosted by Amanda Holden, and judged by a panel of Lloyd Webber, Dawn French, Melanie C and Jason Donovan.

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

MELANIE C in Jesus Christ Superstar

July 25, 2012 

Ex-Spice Girl Melanie C plays the part of a lifetime in Jesus Christ Superstar.

MELANIE C in Jesus Christ SuperstarThis year Melanie C will play Mary Magdalene in the 2012 UK Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Her role in the hugely successful girl band The Spice Girls is enough to guarantee Mel C’s place in showbiz history. And  her five solo albums following the break-up of the girls have proved that she is also a significant force in music in her own right.

But now, with her casting as Mary Magdalene in a new UK Arena Tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s classic rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar, she starts a new chapter in her career.

Having already played Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s musical Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre, Melanie is no stranger to the stage. But this major new production of JCS is sure to reinvent the Spice Girl once again.

Mel has also impressed critics as a judge on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ITV search for a Jesus to star alongside Melanie in the UK arena tour, sparring nicely with Jason Donovan and promoting rumours that she may her lined herself up for further TV work in the future.

Melanie C will be joined in Jesus Christ Superstar by Tim Minchin as Judas and Chris Moyles as Herod.

LINKS

Book tickets to the UK arena tour of Jesus Chris Superstar

Melanie C – Biography

Exclusive Photos: Superstar – photos from Episode 1

July 3, 2012 

Exclusive photos of the first episode of SUPERSTAR.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest TV talent search – to cast the lead in a major new Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar – kicks off on ITV1 this Saturday (7th July, 725pm).

Hosted by Amanda Holden, with the auditions judging panel comprising of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Melanie C, Jason Donovan and casting supremo David Grindrod, the first episode kicks off with auditions in Brixton.

We can’t wait!

Superstar: Saturday 7 July 7.25pm, ITV1

Superstar on ITV - episode 1 starts this Saturday 7th July

Superstar on ITV – episode 1 starts this Saturday 7th July

LINKS

Visit our SUPERSTAR website

Book tickets to Jesus Christ Superstar

 

ITV’s Superstar | Jason Donovan Biography

July 3, 2012 

Jason Donovan, a judge on ITV's SUPERSTAR

The judging panel of Superstar includes pop and musicals star Jason Donovan.

Jason Donovan – Biography

Jason Sean Donovan was born into a show business family in Melbourne Australia on 1 June 1968 and his good looks and talent made him a natural on Australian TV. His first appearances on television there included shows such as ‘I Can Jump Puddles’, ‘Skyways’ and ‘Gold Pennies’.

His big break came together with co-star Kylie Minogue in the role of Scott Robinson in the primetime soap ‘Neighbours’ that turned him into an international star. After four years, he had won almost every major Australian award, including Most Popular Actor. The series went onto to become one of the highest rating shows in the UK.

Once established in the UK, Jason went on to have huge chart success as part of the PWL pop era. His debut album ‘Ten Good Reasons’ was the highest selling album of 1989 with sales of 1.5 million and was supported by sell-out shows in the UK, Europe and South-East Asia. The album featured the timeless chart-topping duet Especially For You with Kylie Minogue and a number one with ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’. Jason has proven his enduring appeal as a pop singer and 80s heartthrob as one of the most successful singers in British chart history with world sales of 13 million albums and four UK No. 1s. Following the release of his second album ‘Between The Lines’, he became 1989’s biggest selling artist throughout the UK and Europe.

In addition to his musical success, Jason’s TV, film and musical theatre work showed his versatility. Away from the spotlight he worked in his native Australia on film projects including his first role as Private Talbot in ‘Blood Oath starring Bryan Brown and Russell Crowe and this was followed by the miniseries ‘Shadows of the Heart’ and ‘Heroes’. His first lead role in a movie came in the 1994 production, ‘Rough Diamonds’. Robert Osborne of America’s Hollywood wrote….”This gent’s got major potential. He could easily be the Down-Under cousin of Robert Redford or Brad Pitt.”

Music was always a constant in Jason’s career and in particular he shone in his portrayal of Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at London’s Palladium in 1991. The show was a box office smash and had an 18-month sell-out run. It also spawned a number one single and a best-selling soundtrack album. In 1998, he landed another theatrical role as Frank ‘N’ Furter in a touring version of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’: Jason says“It was a hard grind and I was on the road for 18 months but that’s where I met Angela, his wife.” Autumn 2011 saw Jason’s welcome return to prime time television when he took part in BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. He came a respectable third behind Harry Judd and Chelsey Healey.

Jason is looking forward to a very busy 2012. After completing the ‘Strictly Live UK and Ireland Tour’, he released an album, was interviewed by Piers Morgan for his ITV1 ‘Life Stories’ series, and has been a mentor with former Spice Girl, Melanie Chisholm, during auditions for the ITV1 musical talent show ‘Superstar’, which airs live in July. He continues to entertain the UK on his Heart radio show every Sunday afternoon, and is delighted this year to become part of the brand new Smooth Radio team in Sydney. In November, Jason once more returns to Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds – The New Generation, this time taking on the role of Parson Nathaniel.

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

ITV’s Superstar | An interview with Jason Donovan

July 3, 2012 

Jason Donovan, a judge on ITV's SUPERSTAR

The judging panel of Superstar includes pop and musicals star Jason Donovan.

An interview with Jason Donovan

Are you excited about your role on Superstar?
I am really excited about my role on Superstar, it’s a fantastic new experience for me to be on the other side of a production and also because I’ve experienced what the contestants are going through. I know how they’re feeling and how to offer advice; it’s a great opportunity to share my experiences with them.

How has the standard been for talent?
We have seen a very high level of talent throughout the audition process from all different walks of life, all of which have different interpretations of the part of Jesus. The bar is very high and I feel honoured to be in the room with these individuals who are willing to put their souls out there and take risks.

What are you looking for?
The role of Jesus is a huge responsibility and a very demanding part. Jesus is on stage from the beginning to the end of the show so the part requires stamina as well as conviction and emotion – to embody this role they really need to give 100% and be prepared to take some creative risks and surrender their souls in a way. It’s a huge challenge and if that person gets it right, it could be a life changing moment.

How was it working so closely with Melanie C during the early stages?
Melanie is great. I’ve really enjoyed working with her and we’ve had a real laugh together throughout the audition stages. I’m delighted she has the part of Mary Magdalene; she is very talented and will bring something completely unique to the role.

You’re a judge with Andrew and Dawn for the live shows – how do you feel about that?
I’ve worked with and known Andrew for a very long time and feel thrilled and privileged to have been asked to join him and Dawn on the judging panel. I think it’s a really special team and I really can’t wait for the live shows to begin!

What kind of person would you like to see win Superstar?
Obviously I think the winner will need to have a great voice, huge charisma and versatility but we are not necessarily looking for your classic musical star. We are looking for someone unique and someone who has that certain magic. When they walk on a stage you cannot take your eyes off them, magnetic is the word. This individual needs to have an edge, Rock n Roll rather than West End. The winners’ first on stage performance will be to an arena of 10,000 people. That is a big space to fill, just think of that!

Have you given the finalists tips on working with Andrew?
Like all hugely talented people, Andrew is looking for someone who has the ability to make his creation come to life, someone who is willing to work hard, take risks and embody the role from beginning to end. A Superstar!!

Tell us a secret from filming so far?
Just lots of laughs with Melanie really, watching the process unfold and observing the process from a different angle. It’s a great honour to be part of such a talented team. The trip to Mallorca was a lot of fun… staying at Andrews house was quite incredible.

Amanda Holden is the host – have you worked with her before?
I haven’t worked directly with Amanda before but our paths have crossed many times and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of her over the next few months.

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

ITV’s Superstar | Photos and Videos

June 30, 2012 

EPISODE 1

Exclusive photos of the first episode of SUPERSTAR.

 

VIDEO

ITV trailer for Superstar

 

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

ITV’s Superstar | The Judges

June 30, 2012 

 UK AUDITIONS

Audition judges for SUPERSTAR on ITV1

The judging panel for the recorded UK auditions of Superstar are:

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber

David Grindrod

Melanie C: Interview with Melanie C    Melanie C – biography

Jason Donovan: Interview with Jason Donovan    Jason Donovan – biography

LIVE SHOWS

Judges of the live shows of SUPERSTAR on ITV1

The judging panel for the live shows are:

Dawn French: Interview with Dawn French    Dawn French – biography

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber

Jason Donovan: Interview with Jason Donovan    Jason Donovan – biography

HOST

Amanda Holden, host of SUPERSTAR on ITV1

The show is hosted by Amanda Holden: Interview with Amanda Holden    Amanda Holden – biography

 

 

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

ITV’s Superstar | The Contestants

June 30, 2012 

More coming soon

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

ITV’s Superstar | The TV Show

June 30, 2012 

SHOW 1

ITV1: Saturday 7 July 2012, 7.25pm

The first show in the series features the Auditions with Andrew Lloyd Webber and West End Casting Director David Grindrod, including callbacks at the Brixton Academy auditions. Also features Melanie C and Jason Donovan as the finalists are whittled down from 100 to 40.

SHOW 2

ITV1: Sunday 8 July 2012, 8pm

• Superstar Island – A pop up performance school with an intensive week of vocal, acting and dance training. (final 40 – 30)

SHOW 3

ITV1: Saturday 14 July, 8pm

• Majorca – A taste of the rock and roll lifestyle with performances at Andrew’s house (final 30 – 20)
• Europe – Contenders travel back via Superstar coach
• Final Challenge – Contenders perform for one final time at London docks overlooking the O2 (the first venue of arena Tour)
• Andrew chooses his final 10 for the live shows

SHOW 4

ITV1: Sun 15 July – 20:00 GMT

SHOW 5

ITV1: Mon 16 July – Live at 21:00 GMT
Out of the show: Afnan Iftikhar

SHOW 6

ITV1: Tue 17 July – Live at 21:00 GMT
Out of the show: Dirk Johnston

SHOW 7

ITV1: Wed 18 July – Live at 21:00 GMT

SHOW 8

ITV1: Thu 19 July – Live at 21:00 GMT

SHOW 9

ITV1: Fri 20 July – Live at 21:00 GMT

SHOW 10

ITV1: Mon 23 July – Live at 21:00 GMT

SHOW 11

ITV1: Tue 24 July – Live Semi-final at 21:00 GMT

SHOW 12

ITV1: Wed 25 July – Live Final at 21:00 GMT

LINKS

Book tickets to the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena tour

 

Jesus Christ Superstar – UK Arena Tour

June 5, 2012 

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s legendary rock classic Jesus Christ Superstar will tour the UK this Autumn in its first ever Arena Tour.

Celebrating 40 years since the show first opened in London’s West End, this spectacular arena musical will star multiple award-winning performer Tim Minchin as Judas, pop icon and former Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles as King Herod.

The role of Jesus will be cast through the new ITV1 primetime show SUPERSTAR in which Andrew Lloyd Webber and a panel of judges including Dawn French, Jason Donovan and casting director David Grindrod, will search for a major new talent to take the lead role in the show. Melanie C will also be supporting the judges and contestants throughout the show, and the show will be hosted by Amanda Holden.

The show will tour to the O2 Arena in London, Glasgow SECC, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, Manchester Arena, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Birmingham National Indoor Arena, Liverpool Echo Arena, Nottingham Capital FM Arena and the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.

This brand new Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar promises to be a truly spectacular theatrical event, and is based on the acclaimed Broadway revival now playing in New York.

Note: Tickets will be posted out one week before the event

 

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