AD/BC: A Rock Opera

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AD/BC: A Rock Opera
ADBC logo.jpg
AD/BC: A Rock Opera logo
Written by Richard Ayoade
Matt Berry
Directed by Richard Ayoade
Starring Matt Berry
Julian Barratt
Richard Ayoade
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 1
Producer(s) Baby Cow Productions
Running time 30 minutes
Original network BBC Three
Original release 21 December 2004

AD/BC is a parody rock opera with music by Matt Berry and lyrics by Matt Berry and Richard Ayoade. It aired on BBC Three in 2004.


The opera is a pastiche of the life-of-Christ rock operas popular in the early 1970s, such as Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. Sitting at a piano in the late 70s (1978, several years past the time when Jesus-themed rock operas had been popular), writer Tim Wynde (Matt Berry) introduces his creation as a new telling, "told in rock", of the birth of Christ, this time from the point of view of the Innkeeper.

What follows is a production that deftly parodies early 70s life-of-Jesus rock operas, including familiar elements like crowds gathered behind chain-link fencing, 70s-modern products like chrome floor lamps and telephone booths juxtaposed against the 1 BC Middle Eastern setting, and period-perfect music, clothes, language, and choreography. Repeated comic motifs include the use of poorly synchronized and mixed Dubbing and high, hard-rock-style vocal notes, in the manner of 70s Robert Plant or Ian Gillan, inserted incongruously and sustained for absurdly long durations.

It was produced by Steve Coogan's production company Baby Cow and features friends and colleagues of the writers, including The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, Julia Davis, Rich Fulcher, and Matt Lucas, as well as Berry and Ayoade themselves. It was shown only once on the BBC and was released on DVD in the UK on 19 November 2007.


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