If Ryanair did productions of classic musicals they would probably looks a little like “Peaches Christ Superstar.” Pared back, no frills, economic in the extreme, “Peaches Christ Superstar” still manages to get you there. A subversive homage to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1970 rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, “Peaches Christ Superstar” sacrifices spectacle for the show tune in this powerhouse, one woman performance. If ultimately it preaches to the show tune converted, “Peaches Christ Superstar” still offers a lot to the uninitiated, as songs are sung for all their worth in a powerful yet vulnerable performance.
Even on the towering Abbey Stage “Peaches Christ Superstar” still looks and feels like a show tunes session in a New York piano bar. A night in Marie’s Crisis with the piano being hogged by the best singer in the room, with superb piano accompaniment by Mathias Halvorsen. And Peaches is unquestionably a gifted singer. With its low-budget values reducing it all to piano, a few lights, and a generous dusting of smoke, there’s nowhere vocally to hide. Not that Peaches needs it. A show stopping rendition of Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say), and a powerhouse performance of Herod’s Song (Try and See It), being two highlights. As is Herod’s dancing, with the movement sections of the second act leaving you wishing there’d been more.
Perhaps “Peaches Christ Superstar’s” continued appeal has to do with identification. Who hasn’t, at some point or other, not been a hairbrush diva belting out show tunes while singing along to their favourite recording in the privacy of their own home or bedroom? Who’ll admit they still do? Most, lacking pipes like Peaches, know the glitz and glamour of the Broadway stage might not happen. But that doesn’t stop you singing like no one’s watching, or mean you can never sing on a different stage before an adoring audience. Which, in essence, is what “Peaches Christ Superstar” really is. One woman singing her passion as if no one is listening. Even though her adoring audience are. Attentively.
“Peaches Christ Superstar” performed by Peaches, with Mathias Halvorsen on piano, ran at The Abbey Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2018
For more information, visit The Abbey Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2018