Godspell is a rock-musical by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak.
The original text
A rock musical about the life of Christ. It opened off Broadway on May 17, 1971, and has played in various touring companies and revivals many times since.
South African productions
1974: The production was brought to South Africa to open at the Wits University Great Hall. The original cast consisted of Bruce Millar, Cocky Tlhotlhalemaje, Graham Clarke, Caryn Solomon, Ros Monat, Des Lindberg, Jenny Rose Cantan, Ali Lerefolo, Trish McKenna, Harriet Matiwane. Musical director was Arthur Stead, stage and lighting manager John White-Spunner, sound manager Mary Field. It was a very controversial production, as it challenged the South African race laws by using a non-racial cast where previously only exclusively white or exclusively black casts were used. , then, was brought to South Africa to open at the Wits University Great Hall, but was banned under the Publications and Entertainment Act no. 26 of 1963, because of blasphemy, ostensibly for presenting Christ as a clown. The Lindbergs challenged the banning in the Supreme Court, and won their case. However, a note now had to be added to the programme stating that what the audience is about to see is a play and that all the actions in it are symbolic.
1974-5: Having won their case, the production now toured the country for two years, performing at universities and various Christian Brothers College High Schools.(Subsequent productions would star amongst others, Patrick Ndlovu, Barrie Shah, Neville Nash, Dawn Lindberg, Ian Lawrence, Sam Marais and David Dennis.)
1985: Produced by Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre and the State Theatre, Pretoria. Musical direction by Peter McClea. The cast included Sam Marais, Neville Nash, Jocelyn Broderick, David Brown, Natalia de Rocha, Jenny de Lenta, Mandisa Dlanga, Mark Richardson, Ashleigh Sendin, Jonathan Taylor, and Mandy Wildman.
National Arts Festival programme, 1984
CV supplied by David Nissen (July 2015)
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