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Synopsis  
Jesus Christ Superstar film still
Jesus Christ Superstar is a dramatised version of the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. View the full synopsis below.

ACT I

“Heaven on their Minds”
Judas can see that things are going badly awry and that all the good work Jesus has done will soon be swept away. The situation is volatile and the authorities are beginning to focus their attentions on Jesus’s activities. His followers are getting carried away with too many thoughts of heaven on their minds.

“What’s the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying”
The Apostles are quizzing Jesus on his plans – they’re keen to know what lies in store for them all. Judas watches on in silence until Mary Magdalene arrives. He doesn’t understand why Jesus wastes his time on a woman like her.

“Everything’s Alright”
Mary Magdalene tries to calm Jesus with an expensive ointment and tells him not to get worried. Judas snatches the ointment from her and accuses her of wasting resources which would be better served helping the poor. Jesus retorts by saying that there will always be poverty in the world and that they will never be able to help everyone.

“This Jesus Must Die”
Meanwhile, Ciaiphas and the Priests discuss the problems caused by the mob following Jesus. They don’t understand how he has managed to inspire people and believe that Jesus poses a very serious threat to their authority and the fragile relationship they have with the occupying force from Rome.

“Hosanna”
A mass of people surround Jesus as he triumphantly arrives in Jerusalem.

“Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem”
The crowd tells Jesus that they love and believe in him. Simon tries to convince Jesus that he has the power to motivate the crowds to rebel against the Romans.

“Pilate’s Dream”
Waking in the dead of night, Pilate recounts a dream which has been troubling him for many months. The dream focuses on a charismatic man. Pilate finds himself in a room full of people baying for this man’s blood. The dream ends with an image of millions of people mourning the man’s death and leaving Pilate with the blame.

“The Temple”
Traders, moneylenders and pimps are plying their trade in The Temple – money can buy anything there. Jesus bursts in and cries out that the Temple should be a house of prayer and drives everyone out of the building. Exhausted and despairing, Jesus collapses and dreams that he is surrounded by the poor, the sick and the needy – in the dream Jesus finds that there are too many people for him to help.

“Everything’s Alright” (Reprise)
Jesus awakes with a start to find Mary Magdalene by his side.

“I Don’t Know How to Love Him”
With Jesus asleep in her arms, Mary contemplates her relationship with this man. She has never experienced love in her life before and she realises that her entire world has been turned upside down by Jesus.

“Damned For All Time/Blood Money”
The Priests need to know where they can find Jesus away from the crowds. Judas tells them that he will be alone in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night. Judas knows that his betrayal will be remembered for all time but he still clings to his belief that what he is doing is for the best.

ACT II

“The Last Supper”
Jesus gathers his twelve apostles together. He knows what lies ahead and asks his friends to remember him when they eat and drink. Looking around at their blank faces, Jesus becomes incensed and tells them that he must be mad to think that any of them will remember him after he dies. He turns on Peter telling him that he will deny ever having known him by the end of the night and then reveals that one of his apostles will betray him. Judas leaps up and confronts Jesus and an argument between the two men ensues. Jesus tells Judas to get on with what he has planned and Judas accuses Jesus of ruining everything that they have achieved together.

“Gethsemane”
Left alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ponders his fate, questioning whether he can go through with what he knows lies in store over the next three days.

“The Arrest”
The soldiers arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. The soldiers arrest Jesus and take him to Ciaiphas, the High Priest.

“Peter’s Denial”
Three onlookers all recognise Peter as one of the men who was with Jesus earlier. Each time he denies it, just as Jesus said he would.

“Pilate and Christ”
Jesus is brought before Pilate. However as Jesus comes from Galilee, Pilate does not feel that he comes under his jurisdiction and instructs the guards to take him to Herod.

“King Herod’s Song”
Herod has heard about the many miracles Jesus has performed and he wants Jesus to prove that he’s divine by changing water into wine or walking across his swimming pool! Throughout Herod’s tirade, Jesus sits in silence. Infuriated, King Herod throws Jesus out of his house.

“Could We Start Again, Please?”
With Jesus locked in a cell, Mary and the apostles can see that everything they had hoped for has gone horribly wrong. They wish they could turn the clock back and start again.

“Judas’ Death”
Attacked by guards, Jesus is left half dead. Judas laments what he has seen and realises that he will be blamed for what has happened. He recognises that he is part of some grand design and that God is propelling him towards his destiny and he is powerless to change anything. Filled with despair, Judas commits suicide.

“Trial by Pilate”
Jesus is once again brought before Pilate. A mob, led by the Priests, is screaming for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate believes that the man before him has done nothing wrong. He asks Jesus if he is the King of the Jews to which Jesus simply replies, “It’s you that say I am.” To appease the crowd, Pilate flogs Jesus 39 times.

“Superstar”
A delirious Jesus is taunted by a hallucination of Judas asking him how he could let everything get so out of hand and whether he really is who he says he is.

“Crucifixion”
Condemned by Pilate, Jesus is crucified.

“John 19:41”
The apostles are left to comfort each other and ponder the impact that Jesus has had on their lives.


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