Next month will see a major theatrical production in St Mary’s Church, Devizes, the first of what is hoped will be many at the redundant medieval building.
Although a planning application to build a cloister-style extension to the church was turned down by Wiltshire councillors last year, the production of Jesus Christ Superstar by The Invitation Theatre Company (TitCo) is due to be performed in the nave from April 29 to May 3 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are now on sale at Devizes Books.
Director Jemma Brown said: “It is not just the first theatrical production in St Mary’s but it is also the first proper show that TitCo has performed.
"When we started out we were doing concerts of songs from the shows but I thought it was time to branch out and, thankfully, my cast agreed.
“It all began with an email I received saying the rights to JCS are available so I took the decision and I am so lucky to have been able to get such a marvellous cast.”
A stage is to be built in front of the choir with scaffolding erected by local firm Devizes Scaffolding. Lighting and sound equipment is being hired and Mrs Brown has brought in the cream of acting talent from the surrounding area.
The role of Jesus will the taken by her husband, Anthony Brown, Judas will be played by Chris Worthy, while his wife, Lucianne, will play Mary.
Professional actor Gareth Walker plays Herod and Pilate is played by Sean Andrews.
The Invitation Theatre Company was originally set up by Mrs Brown’s parents, Jim and Mary Roberts, in the 1980s but she resurrected it a few years ago to create an outlet for herself and her friends who loved to sing and perform.
Jesus Christ Superstar was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in 1970 and a concept album of the music was released in 1971. There were several unauthorised stage versions of it before it opened on Broadway on October 12, 1971. It then transferred to the West End and has rarely been offstage since.