Benjamin Edward "Ben" Forster (born 24 April 1981) is a British actor and singer. He won ITV's Superstar competition in 2012. As a result, Forster played the lead role of Jesus in the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in its 2012 arena tour. Forster returned to the role at the end of May to tour Australia through 2013.
Before his success in the Superstar competition Forster played the role of Doody in Grease and was involved in Thriller – Live in 2009. Singer/songwriter Forster is based in London and performs across a national and international spectrum. Originally from Sunderland, he was a child singer and actor who discovered inspiration in the soul and motown music and the variety of music his parents loved. Blessed with an exceptional vocal range, he developed the unique style and versatility which won him a scholarship at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy in London at just 16.
During his training, he was heavily featured in the BBC's prime time fly-on-the-wall documentary The Dream Academy which aired to over 3 million people. The Broccoli family (of James Bond fame) staged the musical La Cava in London the same year, and Forster won a role, to make his West End debut in this lavish production. He then went on to another lead singer role in Lennon and McCartney's West End musical All You Need Is Love. It was during the run of this show that the 20-year-old Forster discovered and developed a new talent – songwriting. His passion led him to re-focus his path towards a solo singing career and he signed a record deal with an independent label. He wrote and produced his first ten-song live album, but the recording company declared bankruptcy and Forster's solo musical ambitions were put on hold.
After finishing the 2012 arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Forster went on to play the role of Brad Majors in the 40th anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show alongside Roxanne Pallett, Rhydian, Kristian Lavercombe and Oliver Thornton.
Forster was to reprise the role of Jesus once again for the North American tour of JCS, joining other recording artists that included Incubus' Brandon Boyd as Judas Iscariot, Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalene, 'N Sync's JC Chasez as Pontius Pilate, and Public Image Ltd's John Lydon as King Herod. The North American tour was cancelled on 30 May 2014.
In 2013–14 Forster performed the role of Magaldi in the West End production of Evita in the Dominion Theatre.
In October 2015, Forster reprised the role of Buddy in Elf: The Musical at the Dominion Theatre, a role which he originated in the UK première in 2014 in Plymouth. The show ran until January 2016.
Since 1 February 2016 Forster has been portraying the role of The Phantom in London's The Phantom of the Opera
On 6 January 2018, while performing in Elf the Musical, Ben came down off a ladder mid-performance causing the show to stop immediately. It was later revealed that he has broken his ankle in the process and would not finish his run with the show.