Jesus Christ Superstar's Ricardo Afonso
Ricardo Afonso is currently playing Judas Iscariot in Jesus Christ Superstar, a reincarnation of the 2016 Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production at the Barbican. The show had a second run at Regent’s Park in 2017 after it won the Olivier Award for best musical revival, played Chicago in 2018, and will tour the US later this year.
The show, which was originally written as a rock opera album, is about the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
This particular production has received rave reviews each year it’s run in London. Apart from the fact this version is playing at an indoor venue, the only real difference is the casting, including the actors playing Jesus and Judas who are both new to the show.
Ricardo was actually offered the part in 2016 but had to pull out of the production for health reasons. He moved home to Portugal for three years before coming back to London earlier this year to finally play the part he has longed for his whole career.
Many of the reviews of this year’s run have singled Ricardo out as the ‘absolute standout’ and ‘vocal master’, with ‘soaring vocals’ making him ‘the star of the show’.
We met up at the Barbican one lunchtime, shortly before a midweek matinee.
Ricardo filled me in on what happened in 2016, why he had to move his family to Portugal while he recovered and how much he hoped this production would come back and give him another chance to play Judas.
No stranger to the West End, you may also have seen Ricardo as Galileo in We Will Rock You, Top Hat and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.