Welcome back to our Encore Blog and Happy Easter! We hope you haven’t missed us too much in the past few weeks but we are back!
We will be introducing some characters from Jesus Christ Superstar and the talented folks playing them in the run up to show week.
This week we will be kicking the series off with none other than the man himself Jesus Christ and a new member to Encore Theatre Company!
Name: Edward Leigh
Character Name: Jesus Christ
Tell us a bit about your character: Well…He’s assumed to be the son of God. Quite a big one that! Whether or not he’s God or just a man is the whole argument of the show. He preaches fairness and love and believes all of what he says. As time goes by however he begins to question the path that he has been put upon.
What’s your favourite song in the show and why? Gethsemane. Because I don’t think I know of another song where the stakes are as large as that. Questioning God why should I die is a hugely emotional question, and so is the song!
What other shows have you been involved in? I’ve worked as a Lead Singer for AIDA on their cruise ships, and also played Jake “Joliet” Blues in the Italian National Tour of Blues Brothers: On A Mission From God. Most recently I played Emmett in Legally Blonde at Harrogate Theatre.
Everyone knows the story of Jesus Christ Superstar but what can you tell us about Encore’s version that makes it different? It’s very different for a few reasons. One being the setting that it’s in, I know of a number of performances that have placed JCS in a more “modern” setting, but they’ve all been donned in leather and been quite steam punk-esque. I get the impression we’re going for a more bohemian style theme with our show. Which is something new and interesting! Also, having the band on the stage next to and above us as a cast is really cool.
Best or worst moment on stage? Worst moment on stage….Running on from a wing and falling over, power sliding from one wing straight across the stage to the other wing on my belly like a penguin….
Best moment, performing the Blues Brothers ending scene (concert) in front of 1500 people all standing and screaming in Catania in Italy. That was special.
What is your favourite lyric from the show? “Oh and now I understand you’re God…At least that’s what you’ve said”
What musical moment was it that made you think…I want to do that? Erm, I don’t really know to be honest! I remember my first ever show I was in was in school in around Year 11, it was a school show of Annie (I know right?) and I played Roosevelt. I just remember it being really good fun and enjoying myself and thinking that I’d like to do it a bit more. Things snowballed from there!
What are you enjoying most about being part of Encore Theatre Company?
How friendly and welcoming everyone is. It sounds cliché I know, but in my experience I’ve worked with people in the past be it professional or amateur who have made the whole experience thoroughly unpleasant through how they’ve acted. Off stage that is. Being able to be a brand new unknown face and to feel like everyone is welcoming and happy and smiling and laughing is such a nice feeling, it makes me excited for rehearsals which was something I began to miss in the past. I feel like I can talk to anyone and everyone in the company and that’s no small thing for me.
What else do you do besides singing, dancing & acting? I’ve been lucky enough to earn a living off of performing since 2014 when I graduated. Things are changing now I’m a little older and priorities are shifting, but I’m looking at switching from stage work to doing more gig kind of work. Not leave performing completely!
Thank you Edward for answering our questions and welcome to Encore Theatre Company!