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Minchin to bring Judas to Perth
Minchin to bring Judas to Perth

Tim Minchin is set to return to his old hometown of Perth to star as Judas opposite former Spice Girl Melanie C in Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Australian tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock musical kicks off at the Perth Arena on May 31.

Jesus Christ Superstar was first staged on Broadway in 1971. It was revived as an arena spectacle in Britain last year with Minchin, Melanie C and Ben Forster, who was selected to play Jesus though a primetime TV talent show.

Minchin, whose hit West End musical Matilda is about to open on Broadway, won the best supporting actor in a musical award at London's Whatsonstage Awards last weekend for his role as Judas.

Australian additions to the cast include Jon Stevens as Pontius Pilate and Andrew O'Keefe as King Herod.

"I understudied Judas in 1996 in a production at the Quarry Amphitheatre, and again in a version at His Majesty's in 1998, but never got to sing the role due to the frustratingly rude health of the principals," Minchin said.

"I've always loved and feared and wanted this role," he said. "The idea of singing it at the Perth Arena with the legendary John bloody Stevens - who nailed Judas, so to speak, in 1992 - looking over my shoulder every night fills me with a feeling of joy-nausea.

"Honestly though, it's a wonderful production of my second favourite musical ever - guess what my new favourite is - and I just adore performing in it."

Stevens had played Judas when John Farnham appeared as Jesus in the last Australian arena tour in 1992, which attracted nearly 990,000 people and took $40 million at the box office.

The latest version of the show covers the last week of Jesus's life up to his crucifixion but director Laurence Connor has set it in an unnamed present-day city with a backdrop of concrete, barbed wire and skyscrapers.

Presented by the Really Useful Group and Frontier Touring, tickets will go on sale to Frontier Members on February 27 and to the general public on March 8 through Ticketek.