Jesus has played a huge part in the life of actor Glenn Carter, who is playing the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar in Sheffield.
Glenn, who is touring in the hit musical, said: “By the end of this contract I’ll have played it for three and a half years of my life over an 18-year period.
“There are not many experiences in your career that someone would get a chance to do something so challenging and exciting. I never thought I would get the chance do again.”
Glenn is 51 but says his age isn’t a problem. “I don’t look that different. When Bill Kenright asked if I could do it again, I didn’t hesitate. There’s nothing quite like it and I’ve been in many shows over many years.
“It’s got incredible music and obviously the story is phenomenal.”
How does he tackle playing Jesus? “Just like any other role, I just play the moments presented to me in the most honest way I can.
“I don’t approach it with the weight of 2,000 years of Christian history.
He added: “I see him very much as a revolutionary. In the New Testament he was a very fiery personality, a revolutionary leader.
“If he was alive today he would probably be shouting about something on one of our TV debate shows as the leader of a cult.
“He could never be ordinary, that I would say. His level of commitment is extraordinary and the idea of people round him.
“He went to his death for no other reason than to show that when he could have avoided it.”
Glenn says that for him Jesus is a historical character rather than someone he believes in and thinks that the show has a wider appeal than just to devout Christians.
“Certainly the people I talk to don’t talk to me about Christ, they say that they enjoyed my interpretation of a song or that girl made me cry when she sang I Don’t Know How to Love Him. All sorts of people are welcome to come.”
“We need more characters like Jesus on the planet. We need revolutionary leaders, people who are prepared to fight. Gandhi led a resistance movement of millions. He was prepared to go to his death in order to do what was right.”
He added: “I love the story of Christ and the faith of Christians but I don’t like human beings who use anything for selfish goals and extremist platforms. It should be about live, care and friendship.”
Glenn’s own spiritual views are very interesting. He describes himself as an atheist but is also a follower of the Raelians, who believe that life was created by aliens, called the Elohim. He says it is a “religion of science”.
“Most people think it is just about UFOs. I don’t spend my time looking to the sky! I don’t believe in God that exists everywhere and arrives in a fiery chariot.
“For me as a practical, logical person, God didn’t make sense and evolution didn’t make sense either.”
Glenn is pleased to be back in Sheffield, even though the city holds bittersweet memories. “I came years ago to a battle of the bands competition, playing saxophone.
“We were disqualified because they decided we were using recorded music but we weren’t. I thought we were going to win!”
Jesus Christ Superstar is at the Lyceum until May 2.