Tag Archives: Joe Kalou


Joe Kalou as Jesus

Neil Gooding and Packemin Productions have brought a sensational version of this ‘rock opera’ to Parramatta Riverside Theatres. The strong, powerful production is fresh and vibrant and simultaneously full of great attention to detail and yes respectful too even though perhaps a touch controversial in a couple of aspects.          Continue reading JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA


This image: Joe Kalou as Jesus and Toby Francis as Judas
Featured image: Brittanie Shipway as Mary

In a rare treat for our readers, Sydney Arts Guide was invited into the rehearsal room for the first full run-through of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, produced by Packemin and directed by Neil Gooding.  Escorted by the disarmingly chatty and vibrant Brittanie Shipway, who plays Mary Magdalene, assisted by the completely charming Toby Francis, taking on the role of Judas, I had a production desk seat for a thrilling evening of unburnished performance excellence from the full cast of nearly 70.

Flouro lights above, only a piano, bass and drums, no mics, a no-set flat floor and a Green Room in the carpark, not to mention a Quidditch T Shirt in the crowd, the noise and pre-rehearsal hubbub hit a peak with a whole cast warm up to Calvin Harris’ ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’.  Then that mysterious thing happened with one bar … just one bar … of an electric guitar wail as an ensemble of superior focus transmogrified the place and time. Continue reading JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. REHEARSAL VISIT AND INTERVIEW WITH MARY


Production images: Clare Hawley

Not so such much a runaway hit as a stay-in-the-neighbourhood hit, IN THE HEIGHTS as directed by Luke Joslin brings a Washington Heights alive in a vibrant, energetic production with the closeness of community at its heart.  No mean feat on a stage as wide as the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.   We love our House and audiences always have a sense of occasion in the iconic building but this was beyond expectations.  A night to bring the whole audience to their feet after a show that vibrates the barrio with brio onstage and brass behind.

The show was conceived, and has music and lyrics, by Lin-Manuel Miranda with the book by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Joslin directed the show at Hayes Theatre last year.  This production has many cast in common and shares musical direction from Lucy Bermingham and choreography from Amy Campbell.  It was a bona-fide hit then.  And will be now. Continue reading IN THE HEIGHTS. DANCIN’ SINGIN’ CELEBRATIN’