'Incredible piece of mega theatre is emotional, violent and loud'
HE is well used to playing arenas around the UK in his own right but musical comedian Tim Minchin reckons the current tour of Jesus Christ Superstar will offer something that regular visitors to the Capital FM Arena won't have experienced before.
"It's actually an incredible piece of mega theatre," he enthuses.
"People try and scale projects up to arenas all the time but I don't know if there's a piece of musical theatre on the planet that suits an arena rock treatment better than this one."
He continues: "This is going to be loud and bright and incredibly dramatic. If people come along and expect to see something like Joseph and his Technicolor Dream Coat then they're going to be shocked.
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"It's emotional and it's violent and it's loud and it has moments that are real heart-stopping theatre."
Previously cast as Pontius Pilate in an earlier incarnation of Jesus Christ Superstar, Minchin has no qualms about stepping up to the plate and taking the role of Judas in this run of arena dates, which will include two at the Capital FM Arena this weekend.
"I've always wanted to play Judas," he says.
"I've been wanting to do it for 20 years. This story is told through his eyes, which is why it's such a radical piece."
Alongside Minchin are former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm as Mary Magdalene and Chris Moyles, the recently-departed Radio 1 breakfast show host, making a cameo as King Herod.
Says Minchin: "Within minutes of meeting someone that you have a cultural understanding with, you understand whether or not you're going to get along.
"Mel is an absolutely divine creature, she's incredibly gentle and earthed and her performance is actually amazing.
"Moylesy gets his moment and it's been really interesting watching him. The ridiculousness of his character makes it almost a challenge to see how stupid he can make it.
"He's been a revelation."
Andrew Lloyd Webber and his casting team found their lead for this first ever arena tour of the show through the ITV talent show, Superstar. Minchin is full of praise for eventual winner Ben Forster.
"Who they found off the telly show was incredible," he says.
"I want the people that have been critical of casting off TV shows to come and see Ben. I'd like to watch them eat their words."
The tour offers Minchin something that his previous visits haven't – a chance to see the city.
"One of the frustrating things about touring is that you only ever get to see motorways, hotel rooms and venues.
"You don't actually get a sense of where you are.
"You don't get to enjoy the city when you play one night and all you see of Nottingham is through a window in the middle of the night.
"I'm looking forward to being there and checking the city out for a couple of nights.
"It's sad. All I can picture of Nottingham is the venues."
A man of simple pleasures, Minchin is keen to get out and discover Nottingham's nightlife, history, architecture, people.... actually no. His priority is rather odd.
"I will be checking out where does good eggs."
Jesus Christ Superstar comes to the Capital FM Arena on Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20.
Tickets are £45 to £65 from the venue – call 0843 373 3000 or go to the website at www.capitalfmarena.com.