This week we caught up with some of the stars of our upcoming Glee Club production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Year 13 student Cameron Mataira (Selwyn), who plays Jesus in the musical; and Year 12 students, Findlay McLachlan (Marsden) and Isabella Klisser (Taylor), who play Judas and Mary respectively, talk to us about the show and their roles in it.
Tell us about your character in Jesus Christ Superstar - do you relate to your character in the musical?
Cameron Mataira: I play the role of Jesus Christ. Although he is represented a sort of divine figure in the bible, in my opinion ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ is all about exploring the troubles and hardships that Christ incurred, when carrying out God's will. I believe this show places Jesus in a new light and we are able to see him as a human, who faces obstacles and challenges in his every day life, just like us. I relate to that side of the character, as I too face obstacles and challenges everyday - whether it be in my schoolwork or managing life in Selwyn. At times it can all be hard, but at the end of the day it shows a sense of character when overcoming these obstacles - something you can see in the character of Jesus Christ.
Findlay McLachlan: I play Judas Iscariot, Jesus' 'right hand man all along'. He raises concerns when the safety of his friends and his people are put at risk but is misconstrued and misunderstood. I believe he is a good person, to a certain extent. Judas is misunderstood, selfless and brave, true to his cause, yet brutally conflicted. I relate to his battle for moral righteousness. I think it's something everyone struggles with at some point.
Isabella Klisser: I play Mary Magdalene, who is a very intricate character in the show. You see her undergo an emotional change at the end of Act 2, which forces her to start questioning herself and her decisions. I don't necessarily relate to the life choices of the character but I definitely feel that everyone has experienced times where they doubt themselves and question what they're doing.
What is the best part about being on stage?
CM: The thrill and rush of performing in front of an audience. Having an audience always brings out my best performance, especially at Glee Club.
FM: There are plenty of things about being on stage that I enjoy. I enjoy growing close with a cast of people, and performing with them. It's also pretty thrilling to open yourself up in front of an audience.
IK: The energy that bounces off all the performers and the feeling of intense freedom when you're on stage.
What are your plans once you leave school? Do you want to continue acting and singing?
CM: When I leave school I don't necessarily see myself continuing as an actor but I definitely will continue to sing and play in bands, as that is what I love. I hope to do a conjoint of both Commerce and Music Composition next year at Victoria University.
FM: Definitely. After school I plan on moving to England to study Musical Theatre and pursue it as a career.
IK: I would either like to train to become a reconstructive surgeon of some sort or, pursue my dancing in America.
What’s the best show you’ve been in?
CM: It would definitely be this one. Although the challenge and responsibility of being the lead role is a big reason for why it is my favourite, it's also because I feel a strong bond throughout our entire cast. Everyone has really embraced their role in the musical and this has been really awesome to see.
FM: I'm in an original Kiwi musical at the moment called Schlunted, written by The Other People NZ, about 4 university students who go on a camping trip that turns tragic and dark. I play Jackson who has run away from home and comes across these recent graduates in the bush.
If you could be in any show, playing your dream role, what would it be?
CM: Again, it would have to be the role that I am playing right now in Jesus Christ Superstar. This production was the first musical I ever watched, at the young age of seven. My Mum took me to see it in London, and right then I had discovered an unspoken love for musical theatre. Now I get to showcase my love for this production on the big stage at King’s.
FM: Hairspray has been one of my favourite movies for many, many years. I would absolutely love to be a part of that show.
IK: It would have be Eponine in Les Miserables.