It’s just a step to the left...and a few weeks to wait until one of the most popular, quirky and risque musicals of all time lands at the Millennium Forum.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is celebrating its 40th year and is bringing a stellar cast of West End names to the production at the Forum from September 2-7.
Among them is Ben Forster who won the hearts of legions of television fans when he won the lead role in the touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar in the ITV1 series ‘Superstar’.
Ben will take on the role of Brad - one of the two squeaky clean college students who find themselves caught up in the wacky world of Frank ‘n’ Furter - played by Oliver Thornton (Priscilla Queen of the Desert).
He admits the two roles could not be any more different. “It was a conscious decision,” Ben told the ‘Journal’. “They are two brilliant roles in two brilliant shows but they are as far removed from each other as possible.
“But I wanted to do something which showed my versatility, that showed I could do comedy as well. This was a perfect role to avoid being typecast.”
And it is a role he has relished. “I think there is a hidden Frank ‘n’ Furter in everyone,” he said. “And I’m learning a lot of things - but mostly that I can’t walk in heels and that I still need help from wardrobe in getting into my fishnets!”
With the accolade of winning the ITV1 series behind him, Ben admits he does at times feel the pressure of making sure he gives audiences a great night.
“Of course every time I go on stage I would want to give people the very best performance I can, but when you know people have backed you - have spent their money voting for you - you are even more determined to give it all you have for them.”
The Show comes with pressures of its own. It has a huge cult following who know the show backwards. Ben doesn’t expect things to be any different in Derry - he expects the fans to be out in full - and even to see local men donning high heels and slapping on a bit of lippy.
“You don’t have to come dressed up,” Ben said. “But a lot of people do. There really is no audience like the audiences that come to the Rocky Horror; in many ways they are as important as what is happening on stage.
“People know the show so well, they know exactly what is coming next and they aren’t afraid to jump in. But even for those who haven’t seen the show before it is still worth going to see; it’s hysterical and we can guarantee a really good night.
The Rocky Horror Show will perform at the Millennium Forum from Sept. 2-7. Tickets are available from the Box Office. Tel. 71 264455 or www.millenniumforum.co.uk