The big annual show by the Musical Youth Company of Oxford is always a cause for excitement, being the culmination of months of preparation by some extremely talented people.

And it is not only family and friends of those involved who look forward to these performances; the shows frequently hold their own against the professional productions which make up the bulk of the Oxford Playhouse’s programming.

This one was different though – it was even better than that, not only matching the work of many professional actors and musicians but surpassing it.

This production of 70s hippy classic Godspell was a freewheeling, all-singing and dancing delight.

Standards were high throughout with every line, song and dance routine rehearsed within an inch of its life. Director and choreographer Guy Brigg clearly runs a very tight ship. With a youth production of this nature you would expect and forgive the occasional slip – but there were none.

Boldly updated from the 1971 original, this Godspell remained faithful to the central story – itself based on the Gospel of St Matthew, with its rapid-fire sequence of parables and musical numbers. However, it was also lent authenticity, in the hands of a cast of teenagers with contemporary references (including an amusing Donald Trump impression), youth-speak and the black apocalyptic punk-grunge costumes.

The stand-out star was Jesus, Cherwell School sixth-former Zakkai Goriely – a young actor of enormous charisma and ability who, with flowing locks and beatific smile, even looked the part as the Messiah.

But this was an ensemble effort, and there were some extremely strong support roles, not least by wonderful actors and singers Ellie Greave as Jay TeeBee, Amber Potter as Robin, Olivia Baird as Peggy and Saffi Needham, as a fabulously feisty scene-stealing Sonia. Musical highlights came with Robin’s memorable Day By Day and Sonia’s Turn Back O Man.

A particularly lovely moment came in the form of a sublime, perfectly-executed ballet interlude from dance captain Ellie O’Connor and Oscar Pratley. The choreography was superlative throughout.

A triumph then. Those involved should feel very proud. I expect many of them to go very far in this business indeed.