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.
And 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.