30 years of summer musicals at the Key Theatre

It was August 1992 when the Key Theatre’s then, new Artistic Director, Derek Killeen, had the idea for a ‘Summer Musical’ featuring the incredibly talented young people of Peterborough and its surrounding areas – little did anyone know back then what a legacy of talent this would create, and the tradition continues to this day and of course into this Summer.

By Brad Barnes
Saturday, 16th July 2022, 12:00 am
Kindred Drama are bringing Jesus Christ Superstar to the Key Theatre in August - 50 years after the original West end production.
Kindred Drama are bringing Jesus Christ Superstar to the Key Theatre in August - 50 years after the original West end production.

In 1992, the Key produced Willy Russell’s ‘Our Day Out’ which featured several young actors who went on to have successful careers in the entertainment industry. In more recent years, productions such as ‘Rent’, ‘Legally Blonde’, an updated version of ‘Our Day Out’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, and most recently ‘Chicago’ have continued to cement this legacy and featured current TV stars like Robert Gilbert, James Davies- Williams and Emily Barber; star of the National tour of ‘Bat Out of Hell’, Glenn Adamson, as well as a never-ending list of alumni that have passed through the KYT doors.

Now, rewind another 20 years to August 1972 and a young composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and his friend and lyricist, Tim Rice, opened their concept musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ in London’s West End to huge critical and public acclaim and changed the face of Musical Theatre forever.

Finally, fast forward to 2022 and Kindred Drama, the team behind KYT, needed a smash-hit title for their 30th Anniversary production and somehow managed to grasp the rights to present ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ as this year’s Summer Musical.

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ has been reinvented as a show in the past few years with a great number of productions putting their individual ‘spin’ on the staging concept for the show and Kindred KYT will be no different.

Featuring an incredible cast including the award-winning Layla Chivandire as Judas, Francisco Gomes as Jesus and Amara Podd as Mary Magdalene, Kindred will completely update the show for a 2022 audience whilst of course maintaining the essence of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and its amazing songs including ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’,

‘Gethsemane’, the titular ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and the iconic ‘Heaven On Their Minds’.

Paul Collings, Director of Kindred and KYT said: ‘We are so excited to be able to celebrate our 30 th Anniversary by staging JCS in it’s 50 th year. We actually only miss the actual anniversary date by 8 days!

‘Our young people have shown over the years the incredible talent that Peterborough as a city possesses and we are delighted to be able to showcase this talent once again. A lot of work has already gone into the production including music rehearsals and lots of filming which will offer an amazing backdrop for the show and offer the audience a completely different theatrical experience than they have ever had from us before’.

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is at the Key Theatre from 17-20 August with performances at 7.30pm each night and a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 20 th August. Ticket prices start at £16 and are available by calling the Key Theatre Box Office on 01733 963557 or by visiting www.keytheatre-peterborough.com