OMG! JESUS IS ON TWITTER; Theatre MESSIAH FOR INTERNET AGE

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Byline: ROZ LAWS

HE won the nation's hearts in the search for a superstar. Now Ben Forster is out to prove the public right. The winner of the ITV show Superstar, Ben plays the starring role in the 21st century reinvention of musical Jesus Christ Superstar on its first arena tour. Celebrating 40 years since it opened in the West End, the tour comes to Birmingham's NIA next week. Ben's version of Christ is a new one. He mixes with dreadlocked anarchists and Occupy London protesters, criticising bankers and spreading his word via Twitter. "It is definitely a Jesus that people won't have seen before," he says. "I think it is a really good thing, it is really relevant. "I don't think you could have watched the show in the past and related it to your life directly. But this is such a current production and is so relevant to today that I think it will evoke people's emotions. "It is what we have all been living the past two or three years. "It is much easier in a way as an actor as I can really relate. Thinking about how Keep up to date throughout the week at www.coventrytelegraph.net/whatson is pretty difficult, but if I think about maybe how someone with Aids or a heroin addict could be coming to ask me for help, you can relate to that from living in our age. It feels really important.

"What people can count on is nothing has been changed musically, they are exactly the same songs. "But it is a completely different show to what's been produced in the past." Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar also features award-winning musical comedian Tim Minchin as Judas, Spice Girl Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and former Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Chris Moyles, who makes his stage debut as King Herod. Ben, 31, grew up in Sunderland and his parents, former plumber Ted and community worker June, still live in the city. His first professional job was in a commercial for Newcastle Building Society. …