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an ad for the Hellfire performances in "Courier"'s May 19 issue - 13/4/1, University Archives, Newcastle University Special Collections, GB 186
Basic information
Composed by: Joe Tibbetts (book and lyrics) and Paul Todd (music)
Composed in: YYYY
Length: LENGTH
Premiere date: 1976-04-02
Premiere venue: Newcastle University's Theatre
Premiere location: Newcastle, England, UK


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Performance history

Release History

Composition appears on the following album releases:

Cover art Album title Release date Release country
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Quotations and trivia

Hellfire premiered on 1976-04-02 and ran up until 1976-04-10. An ad in a student newspaper provides additional performance dates between 1976-05-27 and 1976-06-19

Courier mentions that project cost £12.000, but only brought back £400 (!) in box office money.

In Broken Music Sting describes this project as a fiasco.

Sting.com presents quotes from a review by Peter Mortimer:

'Hellfire' Comes A Bit Late' - Redemption comes late in the day for"Hellfire" the rock opera at Newcastle's University Theatre. Presumably not too late for the audience, for the reception was enthusiastic. Memories are sometimes short, and though I'll willingly acknowledge the gutsy muscle injected into the finale, there are some serious shortcomings in the main body of the work. The theme is The Bible - all of it, the cast a mixture of professional actors and children, and Paul Todd's music is played by Tyneside's most exciting group, Last Exit. Inevitably, biblical rock has a derivative feel about it these days. What is left to do? Probably nothing, but here the ambitious plan is to whizz us through from the creation until Christ finally descends from the cross and sees Lucifer off. A big task and in the overlong first half especially, one that overstretches the company. God (Peter Rutherford) stands on high surveying all while Lucifer (Geoffrey Burridge) pops up and down from his dominions to do his naughties. If Last Exit's musicianship maintains a high standard, Ian Forrest's direction at times looks lack-lustre: the lyrics are self consciously modern ("No way baby!" is a repetitious phrase of God's), and we're left unsure as to whether this is lampooning or a real attempt at spiritual uplifting. Some necessary cutting, and the piece's vitality may improve greatly.

See also

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External links

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source: Courier student newspaper