First look at Melanie C as dreadlocked Mary Magdalene as new Jesus Christ Superstar stage show prepares for tour

By Emma Gritt

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New photos have been released of Melanie Chisholm in character as Mary Magdalene.

The Spice Girl is about to embark on a national arena tour with rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

Mel, 38, was also one of the judges on the ITV talent show, that hunted for an unknown to play the lead role of Jesus.

She will join the winner, Ben Forster, on stage at London's O2 arena when the show starts its 21-date journey around the UK later this month. 

In the picture, Mel can be seen crouching on some cold looking steps looking in to the distance.

Who's that girl: Melanie C in character as Mary Magdalene

Who's that girl: Melanie C stars as Mary Magdalene in a new touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar

Surprisingly, she has a whole head of dreadlocks and a leather jacket - not typical biblical attire, and a vast departure from Mel's usual groomed style.

Also in the cast is Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, who plays the part of evil King Herod, and comedian Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot.

 

Mel's interpretation of Jesus' prostitute friend is very different to how most productions of the hit musical portray her.

When Chilina Kennedy played the part in a Broadway production, she stuck with traditional ancient-style robes.

Speaking about the theatrical challenge of playing such an iconic character, Mel said the unusual costume helped her get in to the right frame of mind.

Traditional: Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar

Traditional: Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar

She said: 'Rehearsals have been going brilliantly, I feel so lucky to be a part of this incredible production.

'Mary Magdalene is such a wonderful role - I look and feel quite different in my costume and dreadlocks, which really helps me to find the person she is.'

The singer, who has previously trod the boards in Blood Brothers, has been involved with the show from the very start.

She was one of the judges on the ITV show that searched for a Jesus alongside theatre heavyweights casting director David Grindrod and musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Also on the panel was Jason Donovan, who made a name for himself playing Joseph in another of Lord Lloyd Webber's productions.

Superstar Judges: (l-r) David Grindrod, Andred Lloyd Webber, Mel C and Jason Donovan

Superstar Judges: (l-r) David Grindrod, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mel C and Jason Donovan

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

I didn't know mary Magdalene had a tattoo on her right leg?

Click to rate     Rating   3

The best Mary Magdalene was Renee Castle in the 2000 video version; even better than the original. Rik Mayall was dreadful in that as Herod, but Fred Johanson as a leather-clad Pontius Pilate - wow what a voice! Look for clips on Youtube - he's fabulous.

Click to rate     Rating   2

She looks amazing in this photograph - glad to see this Widnes girl finally looking good

Click to rate     Rating   83

She does look great but getting tired of these "search for a star" programmes. There is so much talent already available. Ramin Karimloo, Hadley Fraser to name two who could have done this role justice and have worked to get where they are,not a five minute wonder who turns up on these programmes.

Click to rate     Rating   32

The dreadlocks look amazing!

Click to rate     Rating   158

The traditional Mary Magdalene is best.

Click to rate     Rating   29

All this discussion over mythical Mary's - and people then poke fun at Tom Cruise and Scientology...

Click to rate     Rating   6

Don't like her... But I wanna boink her... What IS that????

Click to rate     Rating   48

Wow, she looks really good. Not many people can pull the dreadlocks look off

Click to rate     Rating   169

Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. That was Mary of Bethany. Two different people! - G Hou , Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom, 07/9/2012 12:20 ____________ but none of them are real! I really like Mel C. with the dark hair, it suits her. And the dreadlocks, too!

Click to rate     Rating   32

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