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Principal casting announced for Jesus Christ Superstar at the Barbican

Casting news

REGENT’s Park Open Air Theatre has announced principal casting for their production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical, it plays a limited 60 performance run at the Barbican Theatre from July 4 to August 24, 2019.

The production previously played two sell-out seasons at the Open Air Theatre before transferring to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2018. It will embark on a North American tour from October.

The new cast includes Robert Tripolino and Ricardo Afonso in the iconic roles of Jesus and Judas, with Sallay Garnett as Mary. Matt Cardle plays the role of Pilate, with Cavin Cornwall and Nathan Amzi as Caiaphas and Annas.

Robert Tripolino recently played Sal Russo in RAGS (Hope Mill, Manchester). Originally from Australia, his theatre credits include: Omar in Disney’s Aladdin (Australian Tour), Chino in West Side Story (State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne), Jean-Michel in La Cage Aux Folles (The Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne), The Addams Family (Capitol Theatre, Sydney) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Her Majesty’s, Melbourne).

As a composer, his credits include Dreamsong (Melbourne International Comedy Festival), Death Suits You (Melbourne Cabaret Festival) and Guilty Pleasures (Australian Tour).

Ricardo Afonso previously appeared as the Taxi Driver in Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Playhouse Theatre), as Alberto Beddini in Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre/UK Tour), Lead Vocalist in Thriller Live (Lyric Theatre), Galileo in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre), and as a lead vocalist in The Classic Rock Show (European/UK Tour), The Wonderful World of Captain Beaky and His Band (Royal Albert Hall) and Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals (UK Tour).

Angolan born Afonso appeared on The Voice UK series 2, and is a recording artist working in the UK and in Portugal. He is currently recording his first original album with his band The Deccan Traps.

Sallay Garnett is an Irish-Sierra Leonean artist, who also performs and records under the name Loah. With her unique blend of Afro-soul, she released her debut album This Heart in 2017. She has toured in Ireland, the UK, Sierra Leone, the USA and has held major slots at festivals including Electric Picnic, Body&Soul, Longitude, Cork Jazz Festival, Sounds from a Safe Harbour, and the Dublin Fringe Festival. She recently appeared in the film A Girl From Mogadishu and has completed filming for the forthcoming film The Last Right.

Matt Cardle is a multi-platinum selling recording artist who has sold over 2.2 million records since he won The X Factor in 2010. He has released four studios albums including 2011’s Letters, featuring the single When We Collide, and most recently 2018’s Time To Be Alive, both on Sony Music. In 2015, he joined the cast of Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre) as Huey Calhoun, winning the WhatsOnStage Award for Best West End Debut, and he returned to the stage in 2018, appearing as Wally Strand in Strictly Ballroom (Piccadilly Theatre).

NB: Matt Cardle will not appear on Saturday, July 13 (evening), Tuesday, July 30, Wednesday, July 31 or Saturday, August 3 (evening).

Cavin Cornwall originated the role of Caiaphas in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar, reprising the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2018. He previously played Caiaphas on the UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar having originally played Peter in the 1999 film version. He is currently appearing in Rip It Up (Garrick Theatre).

His other theatre credits include: Disney’s Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre), The Color Purple (Cadogan Hall), Sister Act (UK Tour), Billy Flynn in Chicago (Adelphi Theatre) and Crown in Porgy and Bess (Savoy Theatre). His film work includes, for the Star Wars franchise: Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade, Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, plus Paddington 2 and Les Misérables.

Nathan Amzi most recently appeared in Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Other theatre credits include: Henry V (New Generation Festival, Florence), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Sheffield Crucible), Prom Queen (The Other Palace), Disney’s Aladdin (Prince Edward Theatre), Dinner With Saddam (Menier Chocolate factory), In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse) and Urinetown (Apollo Theatre). Film and television credits include: The Voice UK Series 3, London Road, Informer, Sick of It, Absentia and Good Omens.

Jesus Christ Superstar is directed by Timothy Sheader, with design by Tom Scutt, choreography by Drew McOnie, musical supervision by Tom Deering, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Nick Lidster for Autograph, musical direction by Ed Bussey and fight direction by Kate Waters. Barbara Houseman is Associate Director, Voice and Text, and casting is by Will Burton CDG and David Grindrod CDG.

Image: Jesus Christ Superstar Barbican Cast. Photo by Matt Crockett.