CONSIDER that his resume consists of roles in a few of 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 basic Rocky Horror Present, at present having fun with a fiftieth anniversary UK tour.
The present heads to Blackpool and Manchester subsequent month and Stephen cannot watch for 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 12 months as Frank-N-Furter and it must be the spotlight of my profession. I completely like it.
“It isn’t simply the present, it is the individuals who come and watch. I’ve traveled the nation and met a few of 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 essentially 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 suppose some other present permits, and other people dressing up as their favourite characters. For us, each present is totally completely 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, pals. and assistants. Oh and Frank-N-Furter is definitely an alien from one other planet.
“All over the place we play across the nation, we’ve got individuals coming again to the present,” Stephen mentioned. “But it surely does not matter when you’ve by no means seen it earlier than. We Rocky Horror Present virgins walked away saying “we don’t know what we simply noticed, however we liked it and we’re coming again.”
“I’d say to anybody who is not positive about coming, you need not costume up, however I assure you may have a good time. You may chuckle, you may cry, and also you would possibly truly meet a number of pals because of this.”
Regardless of being 50 years outdated, Stephen believes the play is probably extra related right now than when it was first staged.
“What Richard O’Brien has created is what makes the present so related in right now’s local weather; it is a very fashionable present,” he mentioned. “So many individuals have come again and informed me the present gave them the arrogance to come back out or transition. And for everybody, you’re in a protected place amongst pals for a number of hours.”
Iconic is an overused phrase, but it surely definitely applies to Tim Curry’s unique efficiency, as Frank and Stephen admit that strolling in such excessive heels is tough.
“Actually, after I auditioned for Frank, I did not suppose 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 mainly 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, this can be a present the place the viewers will certainly let you realize what they suppose.
“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 hung out growing his look.
“Frank must be engaging to all genders,” he mentioned, “I deal with him as somebody who loves what he loves, and it’s a must to think about that he is an alien from one other planet.”
When director Christopher Luscombe first obtained the function, he informed 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 quite a bit,” she mentioned. “Because the present is ready 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 probably be on tour till October and has already bought out audiences in Italy and Tel Aviv.
“It was unimaginable,” 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 12 months, Stephen obtained engaged to Danielle Steers, who stars in The Cher Present, which is at present on tour.
“When we’ve got a time off, we at all times make it a degree to come back dwelling and spend time collectively,” she mentioned. “It may be arduous to stroll, however we have each been on this recreation for a very long time and it truly makes the connection stronger since you look ahead to seeing that individual on the weekend.”
Stephen can be wanting ahead to coming to Manchester.
“The present opened in Manchester after I first did it and the audiences there are superb. It is at all times an enormous 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