From left to right, Ian McIntosh, Shem Omari James and Hannah Richardson. Stars of the tour of Jesus Christ Superstar coming to Wimbledon.

Ex-usher leads Jesus Christ Super Star at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Jesus Christ Super Star is coming to the New Wimbledon Theatre from Monday 13th to Saturday 18th May.

The award-winning reimagined production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical has been on tour since September. 

Leading the show in the role of Judas is Shem Omari James, who used to work in the Wimbledon Theatre 10 years ago as an usher.

When asked about how it feels to come back and perform in South London, Shem said: “Wimbledon theatre allowed me that accessibility to see so many shows.

“I think the South London theatre scene is really cool, there’s so much going on.

“It’s going to be so nice coming back and leading a show here.”

Describing the role of Judas as a tenor’s dream and nightmare Shem recalled seeing the Regent Theatre revival in 2017 and having friends tell him he’d be well suited to the role.

When asked what drew him to the role of Judas, Shem chuckled and said: “Well, it’s my personality.

“I really did think the role suited my voice, seeing it back in 2017 planted a seed.

“I do think the character is weirdly relatable, there have been moments in my life where I felt like there was no coming back from a decision.”

Jesus Christ Super Star was originally a rock concept album and has been wowing audiences for decades.

This global phenomenon shows the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ through the eyes of Judas against an iconic 1970s rock score.

Director Timothy Sheader, designer Tom Scutt, and choreographer Drew McOnie bring a modern and relatable feel to this show whilst taking it back to its original roots of a rock concept album.

With hand-held mics and apparatus, you would see at a rock concert, they create the classic iconography of the cross by using mic stands and cables.

Honouring its rock conception not just in visuals but in a cast dynamic, Jesus is the leader of this rock band with his very own Stevie Nicks, Mary Magdeline.

Shem said: “The first 45 minutes you may be confused as to if you’re actually watching a musical.

“You might think ‘am I at a rock concert, am I at a gig?’”

Speaking about his triumphant return to his local theatre, Shem alluded that this performance will be one to remember and that the cast are very much looking forward to performing for their friends and family back in London.

Shem said: “By the end of it you will almost hear a pin drop as the audience tries to figure out how we got to this point, this crucifixion.


You can buy tickets for Jesus Christ Super Star at the New Wimbledon Theatre here.

Image credit: Mark Senior

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