I recently went to see the latest revival of
Andrew Lloyd-Weber’s Jesus Christ,
The new version of the musical toured the UK’s largest Arenas, with an all-star cast and a lengthy TV audition show to
select the man to play JC.
Having seen the musical a few times already
– we love all things Lloyd-Weber – I expected it to be the same,
familiar story, but was surprised to find the show had been updated and changed
considerably with Jesus now being an activist in the Occupy Movement sitting
outside Saint Paul’s.
The whole event dripped with
anti-capitalist messages, as demonstrated by the official tour T-Shirt:
This update was obviously to make the show more
relevant to a mixed religion Gen Y audience, bearing in mind the show dates
back over forty years, and make it all a bit more edgy.
The issue is that, in today’s consumer
world, could a messiah really emerge from an Occupy movement?
Would anyone get a global following today,
in the way that we remember the original Jesus Christ?
And could the message of follow good rather than follow money really work today?
It appears not, as the last two decades have
been dominated by the message of consumerism.
The customer is king; the customer is in
the driving seat; the huge expectations of the customer; meeting customer’s
demands … we live in a consumer-driven society and
the consumer message drives our world of thinking.
From celebrity culture to a consumer-led market,
the idea is to buy, buy, buy and borrow, borrow, borrow if you could not afford
to buy, buy, buy.
This Western ethos of consumerism is now
being spread to the BRIC economies, where economists love to talk about the
next billion consumers which makes this message of Jesus Chris, Superstar highly idealistic and, in turn, unrealistic.
The message being to turn a consumer
focused society back into a community focused society.
It is like the political challenge of
turning banks back to simpler days.
We want banks to lend and manage deposits
like they did in the good old days, focused upon prudent financial management
with minimal risk.
This prudence would over-ride any profit or
bonus or shareholder motivations and ensure the bank worked for the good of
society rather than the good of the bank.
In other words, like trying to convert
consumers into communists, we want banks to convert from profit-driven
capitalists into economic managers working for the good of the people.
And, just like the message of Jesus Christ
to focus on doing good rather than doing for yourself, the question now is
where we can really turn back time to simpler days.
p.s. if you want to check out this version
of Jesus Christ, Superstar, take a