CONSIDER that his resume contains roles in among the most well-known stage Musicals together with Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Guys and Dolls and Joseph, it comes as little shock when Stephen Webb reveals that his present function is his all-time favorite.
Stephen stars because the flamboyant, sock-wearing Frank-N-Furter within the cult traditional Rocky Horror Present, at the moment having fun with a fiftieth anniversary UK tour.
The present heads to Blackpool and Manchester subsequent month and Stephen cannot look ahead to the response he is aware of he’ll get from North West audiences.
“I have been on this trade for 20 years and I hold coming again to this present,” he mentioned. “That is my third yr as Frank-N-Furter and it must be the spotlight of my profession. I completely find it irresistible.
“It is not simply the present, it is the individuals who come and watch. I’ve traveled the nation and met among the coolest individuals doing it, and I am at all times studying from Frank.”
Created by Richard O’Brien, The Rocky Horror Present first captured imaginations as a film starring Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter. As a stage present, it has developed a lifetime of its personal and has arguably probably the most loyal fan base of any modern musical.
“It is a phenomenon,” Stephen mentioned, “and I feel it is as a result of the viewers is a lot part of the present. It is well-known for the viewers screaming, which I do not assume some other present permits, and folks dressing up as their favourite characters. For us, each present is totally totally different as a result of the viewers you by no means know what to say.’
For anybody unfamiliar with the story line, Rocky Horror revolves round a younger couple, Brad and Janet, who break down in the midst of nowhere and search shelter from the storm at Frank-N-Furter’s home and his quirky assortment of servants, buddies. and assistants. Oh and Frank-N-Furter is definitely an alien from one other planet.
“In every single place we play across the nation, we’ve individuals coming again to the present,” Stephen mentioned. “But it surely does not matter for those who’ve by no means seen it earlier than. We Rocky Horror Present virgins walked away saying “we do not know what we simply noticed, however we cherished it and we’re coming again.”
“I’d say to anybody who is not positive about coming, you needn’t costume up, however I assure you will have a good time. You may chuckle, you will cry, and also you may really meet just a few buddies because of this.”
Regardless of being 50 years outdated, Stephen believes the play is probably extra related at this time than when it was first staged.
“What Richard O’Brien has created is what makes the present so related in at this time’s local weather; it is a very fashionable present,” he mentioned. “So many individuals have come again and advised me the present gave them the boldness to come back out or transition. And for everybody, you might be in a protected place amongst buddies for just a few hours.”
Iconic is an overused phrase, but it surely definitely applies to Tim Curry’s authentic efficiency, as Frank and Stephen admit that strolling in such excessive heels is tough.
“Actually, once I auditioned for Frank, I did not assume I used to be going to get it,” she mentioned. “They gave me ‘Candy Transvestite’ from the present to sing, so I placed on some tights, placed on some heels and principally stripped down. I flirted with the panel and it did the trick as a result of I obtained the half.
“It was solely after that that I obtained on stage as Frank.” My first ideas have been “what if they do not like me?” it occurred In spite of everything, it is a present the place the viewers will certainly let you recognize what they assume.
“And I’ve by no means worn a wig earlier than, I’ve by no means taken my physique off, however fortunately with regards to heels I look completely pure.
“I wore them on a regular basis throughout coaching to make strolling in them look as pure as potential.”
Frank-N-Furter must be charismatic, and Steven frolicked creating his look.
“Frank must be enticing to all genders,” he mentioned, “I deal with him as somebody who loves what he loves, and you must contemplate that he is an alien from one other planet.”
When director Christopher Luscombe first obtained the function, he advised Stephen that he did not need him to attempt to do a Tim Curry impression, however to do his personal model of Frank-N-Furter.
“It was extremely beneficiant and helped me loads,” she mentioned. “Because the present is about within the 70s, I appeared to Marc Bolan and David Bowie for inspiration when it got here to make-up, so it is a bit glam rock. I see myself as a little bit of an ‘unruly’ Frank, however individuals appear to love it and that is why I hold coming again.”
The Rocky Horror Present will likely be on tour till October and has already bought out audiences in Italy and Tel Aviv.
“It was unbelievable,” Stephen mentioned. “We did not know what to anticipate, however the viewers was superb. They even had their very own screams, which was enjoyable.”
The one draw back to being a part of a grand tour is the entire journey. Final yr, Stephen obtained engaged to Danielle Steers, who stars in The Cher Present, which is at the moment on tour.
“When we’ve a time off, we at all times make it a degree to come back house and spend time collectively,” she mentioned. “It may be laborious to stroll, however we have each been on this recreation for a very long time and it really makes the connection stronger since you look ahead to seeing that particular person on the weekend.”
Stephen can also be wanting ahead to coming to Manchester.
“The present opened in Manchester once I first did it and the audiences there are superb. It is at all times a giant deal to placed on a present there.”
The Rocky Horror Present, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, February 13-18 and Manchester Opera Home, February 20-25. www.rockyhorror.co.uk