Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar

How did I end up seeing the locale debut of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Oxford New Theatre in June 1981? Well, who knows? The interest was there -- me and fellow schoolmates would discuss the lines and the spin on things throughout high school and maybe even into college. It was entertaining and interesting stuff. My sisters had the record, the 1970 one with Ian Gillan of Deep Purple in the title role.

Anyway, I'd been staying in a cheap hotel room in London and took a train over (or "up") to Oxford, about an hour trip. Walking to the show, I found the New Theatre (aka The Apollo) ringed by demented Calvinists aiming to prevent anyone from seeing it.  Failing in that, they were circling with crazy signs, the kind you might see at a "Pro-Life" protest outside of a Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia. I thought, Up the Junction!  In I went, damn the torpedoes. 

During the performance, there were lasers I'm remembering, electric instruments, energetic vocal deliveries. FanTAstic, as someone duly quipped then. Or as another said: BRILLiant.

It was a little chilly outside afterwards, and the "nutters" were still there, "barmy on their crumpets" as before. I weaved and dodged and hopped the first train once back at the station.

As it turned out, wrong train. Not going to London at all. Nope, going to Worcester. In the parlance of the day, Shite! Last train out. Next return from Worcester to London leaves in five hours. Sleep on a bench. Get questioned by a copper. No, I'm not a member of the IRA. Down to the station. Cup of tea? No, but a cup of coffee sounds good . . . Sent on my merry way.

Starts raining. Walk around. Read a sign noting this:  here in 1651, Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army rode victorious over King Charles II and his allies. Well, ain't that something.  

Ah, yes, still have a cigarette. Light it. Smoke it. Back to the train station. Food cart. Open. Coming back to life. Climb aboard -- London. Ready. Steady. Go.

Today's Rune: Journey.     


Charles Gramlich said...

Jesus Christ Superstar is the only musical I've ever watched all the way through and found interesting.

jodi said...

Erik, what a crazy tale. After a wonderful show and the wrong train (shite!), a coffee would help to calm my jangly nerves. I too, loved JCS, but have never seen it live. Sigh.