As Tyrone Huntley prepares to reprise his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Love London Love Culture asked him a few questions about returning to the show….
How are you feeling about reprising your role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar? I’m so excited. When we finished the run last year it just didn’t feel real when it was all over, I felt like I definitely had unfinished business with the role and so its incredible that I’ve been given the opportunity to do it all again.
What do you love most about Jesus Christ Superstar?
The music is epic. I have such a great time singing the material and an even better time listening to the rest of the cast and the incredible band when I’m not singing.
Have you got any favourite moments in the show?
Obviously, I think the whole show is excellent but I would always, without fail, get goosebumps listening to David Thaxton as Pilate singing the end of The Trial.
Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to by returning to Jesus Christ Superstar?
I really can’t wait to get back to the Park. I’ve never been an outdoorsy person but there’s something so special about working and performing in the open air. Being vulnerable to the elements definitely keeps you on your toes and with changes in weather, birds flying around, insects everywhere and the occasional plane flying overhead, every show is completely different which makes it easier to keep the performances fresh.
Why do you think that Jesus Christ Superstar has proved popular with audiences over the years?
Firstly, its one of the most widely known stories in human history, add that to the the fact that this biblical allegory has been reinvented as a rock opera and you’ve already got an eclectic mix of people who might be interested in seeing the show!
Also, the story itself addresses some pretty relatable themes that we encounter everyday like faith or lack thereof, fraternity, betrayal, guilt, collective responsibility, and viewing the story as a piece of theatre, the audience is able to connect with the messages within the piece by identifying with the characters as human beings and not just parabolic religious figures.
With a busy schedule being in Dreamgirls and then onto Jesus Christ Superstar do you get much time to yourself? What do you like to do with your spare time?
It can get pretty hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way! As long as I make time every week to catch up on my TV programmes, I’m happy! Its essential that I work out as often as possible too because I LOVE food!
I have heard you have a fondness for cake – do you do any baking yourself? Do you have a favourite cake?
Baking has never been something that I’ve really taken to – I’m far more interested in the end product and way too impatient to have to wait for the cake to bake before I can eat it! My favourite cake is my Grandma’s fruit cake, lovingly drenched in booze by my mother – the only exception to my teetotalism!!
You have recently taken up playing the piano – how is that going? What pieces are you learning to play?
My teacher moved away recently (hopefully not because I’m so terrible!) so at the moment its a lot of independent study until I find a new teacher. Its difficult to stay motivated without a weekly lesson looming but remembering my ultimate goal of being able to accompany myself at gigs etc. usually gives me the push I need. I actually enjoy attempting to learn songs from whatever show I’m working on at the time!
Are there any actors or actresses who you would love to perform alongside?
I’ve been extremely lucky to have already worked with so many actors whom I admire and look up to – Giles Terera, Sharon D Clarke, Clive Rowe to name a few. I guess the dream would be working with all of them at the same time perhaps with the addition of Adrian Lester, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Noma Dumezweni and Michaela Coel for good measure!
Finally, are there any roles in a musical that you really want to play in the future?
Not really. I’m open to being led by fate with this! I think my only specific aim in this respect is getting to create a role from scratch in a brand new piece that’s never been done before – that would be amazing.
Jesus Christ Superstar returns to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from the 11th August. To book tickets for the show visit: See Tickets.com, Last Minute.com, Discount Theatre.com, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk.