Photo gallery: Dancing in the aisles for church flash mob in Norwich

The cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Adam Gretton adam.gretton@archant.co.uk
Monday, August 4, 2014
9:55 AM

Worshippers at a Norwich church got a surprise when performers from a new theatre production began dancing and singing in the aisles.

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The cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Jesus, played by Will Arundell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Jesus, played by Will Arundell. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The cast of Godspell added a splash of colour to the congregation at St Peter Mancroft Church by conducting a flash mob performance at the beginning of the Sunday service this morning.

Singers from the East Anglian based company, Mixed Voice - dressed in florescent tutus, sparkly hats, colourful braces and headbands - sang some of their songs from their forthcoming musical at Norwich Playhouse.

The audience also witnessed a performance from Jesus wearing a white t-shirt and shorts.

Rev Peter Nokes, the canon of the Norwich city centre church, who is also the official chaplain of the Norwich Theatre Royal, said the church was proud of its theatrical connections.

The cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe cast of Godspell, which will be playing T the Playhouse, lead the service at St Peter Mancroft Church, to the surprise of the congregation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It is an enormous pleasure to welcome the cast of Godspell. It is one of the few times I have not felt overdressed in this church!”

“They wanted to do a flash mob in order to advertise the show Godspell at the beginning of September and I suggested that they came here for the whole of the service,” he said.

The cast from Mixed Voice will be performing Godspell at the Norwich Playhouse from Wednesday September 3 to Saturday September 6.

Josh Lincoln, co-founder and director of the company, said: “We started a few years ago trying to do some West End quality productions, but we have never done anything like this in a church.”

“We thought it was a good way to promote it and to do a flash mob and it is really useful for the show.”

Mixed Voice was formed in 2007 with the objective of bringing together East Anglia’s best singers, dancers, actors and musicians to stage shows and events.

Godspell, which first opened in Broadway in 1971, is based on a series of parables, mostly based on the Gospel of Matthew.

John Fountain, a member of the congregation at St Peter Mancroft, said the show was a surprise to a number of the worshippers.

“The reaction from the congregation was really positive and I did not hear one negative comment. It was a very colourful and lively event,” he said.

9 comments

  • My sister and i came to St Peter Mancroft, on Sunday it was a first visit for both of us. We both enjoyed the service and the parts when these young actors were singing and dancing depicting the story from the bible.

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    becs789

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Disagree with most of what has been said on this page. Ok. one or two people with traditionalist views have been offended. The comments I have seen on social media reflect the exact opposite of these complaints. If the vicar was approached and supported it, with the majority of people enjoying something different on a Sunday morning, then fair enough, Mixed Voice does not pay its members or directors, any money made, as I understand, is used for future performances and to support young artists and helping to keep Norfolk's arts scene as vibrant as it is. Lots of churches nowadays use contemporary music, concerts, performances etc to help boost their congregations and to appeal to younger people. But I accept that some churchgoers would not appreciate this approach.

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    MAZMINGUS

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Mazmingus, 1. Companies House would disagree with you there 2. The Rev. of that Church supported them, but the article reads that it was their idea. 3. 1 person at least was offended otherwise these comments would not exist. Just because peoples opinions didnt make it to you does not mean that they are any less valid. 4. I am aware of the content of the musical, and it can be interpreted in a tasteful and respectful manner. I hope this show will be.

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    Geeves

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • 1. Mixed Voice is not a profit making company 2. They did not 'march in' but were given full support by the church 3. No-one in the congregation was offended 4. The musical is based on the Gospel of St Matthew and lyrics from traditional hymns

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    MAZMINGUS

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Personally, I find it a farce that a profit making group such as mixed voice have the nerve to march into a house of God, satirise the words of the gospel and use it to promote their own ends rather than to promote the Church. It reminds me somewhat of the temple story from the Bible, besmirching the reputation and purpose of the Church for their own profit. I am all for supporting the arts, but there is a time and place. It seems to me that the group have done this purely to cause controversy and, whether intentionally or not, trivialise religious beliefs with their circus. On a side note, I find that the cast are calling themselves 'The God Squad' which I also find rather offensive as a practicing Christian. It shows a distinct lack of regard for other people's beliefs.

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    Geeves

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • The church tahers giving wat to modernism,and the promotion of a stage show,and Norm if you dont need him fine,but a church is there for praise and honour to God on high

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    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Albert you are right just keep God for Sundays and in the church, he is not needed elsewhere !

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    Norm

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Albert, did you not read the article? The Canon of the church gave his permission for this and the congregation did not have 'one negative comment'. If those in charge of, and attending, the church had no complaints, why should you? Lighten up!

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    MAZMINGUS

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • A Church is not a Theatre ! Entertaiments place is in a Theatre,and not the house of God! !

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    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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