Melanie Chisholm in character as Mary Magdalene for new Superstar stage show with Chris Moyles

First look at Melanie C as dreadlocked Mary Magdalene as new Jesus Christ Superstar stage show prepares for tour

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UPDATED:

00:59 GMT, 7 September 2012

New photos have been released of Melanie Chisholm in character as Mary Magdalene.

The Spice Girl is about to embark on a national arena tour with rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

Mel, 38, was also one of the judges on the ITV talent show, that hunted for an unknown to play the lead role of Jesus.

Who's that girl: Melanie C in character as Mary Magdalene

Who's that girl: Melanie C stars as Mary Magdalene in a new touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar

She will join the winner, Ben Forster, on stage at London's O2 arena when the show starts its 21-date journey around the UK later this month.

In the picture, Mel can be seen crouching on some cold looking steps looking in to the distance.

Surprisingly, she has a whole head of dreadlocks and a leather jacket – not typical biblical attire, and a vast departure from Mel's usual groomed style.

Traditional: Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar

Traditional: Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene in the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar

Also in the cast is Radio One DJ Chris Moyles, who plays the part of evil King Herod, and comedian Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot.

Mel's interpretation of Jesus' prostitute friend is very different to how most productions of the hit musical portray her.

When Chilina Kennedy played the part in a Broadway production, she stuck with traditional ancient-style robes.

Speaking about the theatrical challenge of playing such an iconic character, Mel said the unusual costume helped her get in to the right frame of mind.

She said: 'Rehearsals have been going brilliantly, I feel so lucky to be a part of this incredible production.

'Mary
Magdalene is such a wonderful role – I look and feel quite different in
my costume and dreadlocks, which really helps me to find the person she
is.'

Superstar Judges: (l-r) David Grindrod, Andred Lloyd Webber, Mel C and Jason Donovan

Superstar Judges: (l-r) David Grindrod, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Mel C and Jason Donovan

The singer, who has previously trod the boards in Blood Brothers, has been involved with the show from the very start.

She was one of the judges on the ITV show that searched for a Jesus alongside theatre heavyweights casting director David Grindrod and musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Also on the panel was Jason Donovan, who made a name for himself playing Joseph in another of Lord Lloyd Webber's productions.