Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

1973: First produced in South Africa by Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg in Maseru in 1973, where it ran there for 5 months.

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.)

1976: Revived by Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg (at the Brooke Theatre from 22 October to 20 November?)

1981: Produced by the People's Space (?*) with *** and David Nissen

1984: Performed by the Westville Theatre Club on The Grahamstown Fringe, National Arts Festival, directed by Jeanne Beauchamp, choreographed by Gay Rodda.

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.

1994: Produced once more by Des Lindberg and Dawn Lindberg, in conjunction with the Johannesburg Civic Theatre.

Other versions

A recording of the Maseru production, by the original South African cast, was produced by CAT Productions, directed by Dawn Lindberg.(South African Cast Recording: Godspell, CAT CAL 16000[1])


Gosher, 1988.



National Arts Festival programme, 1984

CV supplied by David Nissen (July 2015)

Go to the ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to G in Plays 1 Original SA Plays

Return to G in Plays 2 Foreign Plays

Return to South_African_Theatre/Plays

Return to Main Page