I went to it and had mixed feelings. I thought it was a bit 'BBC Clever' ie - not clever compared to a channel 4 documentary but not as gut bustingly stupid as it would have been if it was on ITV. It didn't actually have Jesus getting gunged or something.
The songs were well chosen and did actually tell the story quite well. Jesus singing 'i hope that god exists, I hope I pray' - let's face it, switching cynicism off for a mintue *click* that's actually quite an interesting idea. Jesus singing 'I am the resurrection' is, however, not remotely clever - "it's like good cos the resurrection was about jebus, so it like, means two fings, burrr...".
Watching it live was a little dull and irritating. most of it was on a screen outside the town hall so it was like 'oh look they're outside Urbis now, and I'm here (sigh)'. I thought the singing was uniformly awful for varying reasons, either cos the singer was so shit or too good and over-hamming it.
Was it rowena or whatever she's called from happy mondays who was mary? she was shit, as soon as she started 'cast no shadow' I thought 'well there's someone who doesn't appreciate the beauty of a simple melody'. Saccharine uber-warbling - dislike. 0 restlesspoints.
Plus we had the added irritation of a crowd of mancunians. From the smug carl barat lookalike asking a disabled woman if he could borrow her crutches to go onto the disabled observation platform, then later having a massive sarcastic rant at the steward who pointed out that he was breaking the law by drinking in the street. People cheering at the vaguest mention of their locale "Ooooh he said Cheadle Hulme! Woo!". To the irritating woman next to us who spent the whole time moaning about how her boyfriend had gone home without telling her. A real 'Hi How Are You?' by Brakes momemnt.
Manchester needs to be a little less smug about itself. Okay it's had some great bands out there over the years but how about the BBC plugging a bit of money into the scene as it is now? Rather than endless Oasis/Smiths/Roses/New Order/Joy Division/Oasis/Smiths/Roses/New Order/Joy Division/Oasis/Smiths/Roses/New Order/Joy Division/Oasis/Smiths/Roses/New Order/Joy Division/Oasis/Smiths/Roses/New Order/Joy Division/Oasis/etc recycling. It's not quite up to Beatlepool standards of past-glory self-sodomy but it still makes me slightly ashamed to live here and more inclined to proclaim myself a Boltonian.
In it's defense I think, as pieces of weekend BBC TV go, it was pretty smart. Using the whole city as the play-space was a neat idea. The choice of songs, however badly sung, did work. I went to it expecting to react to it pretty much as you in the other thread all did but came out feeling at least that the music managed to carry it even if the renditions and whole Keith Allen-ness of it didn't.
The interlude interviews were perhaps a little forced-dumb "what could you, as a MUSLIM, possibly be doing in a procession about JESUS?" kind of thing. But in fairness some people watching will probably genuinely not know that Jesus is a prophet of Islam and BBC is supposed to be 'public service broadcasting' - most people are stupid and I liken the unsubtle politicising from Fat Les re: terrorism bill etc to be on a par with similar things in Dr Who - they're a bit cringeworthy if you're an informed citizen but for the average mouth-breather a drop of left wing politics in their tea time tellycast can't hurt at all.
Note to whoever was wondering: It was Tim Booth playing Judas.