Review: Love Beyond The Musical
Wembley Arena saw a West End cast deliver a heart-stopping and spectacular retelling of the Bible in music and dance last night (2 October), writes Ian Bunce
Beginning at creation and the fall, Love Beyond the Musical (written by Richard Haley and Tabitha Webb) swiftly moved through the Old Testament to the story of Jesus, with the strong message of forgiveness and redemption.
The stage performance was backed by a full orchestra conducted by Stuart Morley, and the storyline flowed at a good pace.
Throughout, you observe the Trinity watching over and cleverly weaving into the story line. Dave Willets, whose past credits include Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, played God the Father while Paul Ayres played Jesus and Clyde Melville-Bain the Holy Spirit.
Particular highlights included the Pentecost scene which was powerfully danced, with God's Spirit affecting the lives of the dancers, and the Revelation scene, which provided some of the most powerful expressions of worship I have experienced for some time.
As an audience member I felt I had not only seen a first rate professional musical (comparable to anything on the West End, and one which give an Andrew Lloyd Webber-production a run for its money), but also witnessed the Bible narrative coming alive and the voice of God speaking through the arts. The prayers of preparation by the cast were tangible in the experience: this performance was not simply a stage play, but Christians using their art to glorify God and make Him known.
I do hope this is only the beginning of this show's journey. There is a vision to take it on the road to other cities, and I believe it was founded by God and that God will use it greatly. If it comes near you, go, take your friends: you will not be embarrassed, but neither will you be unmoved.
Well done to all involved in bringing the Bible alive in such a spectacular way.
Ian Bunce is the Media Networker for the Faith and Society Team