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Interview with Liam Tamne of The Rocky Horror Show – “It’s great not having to wear many clothes!”

| Cinema, Comedy, Music, Theatre, Things to do, Venues | 11/02/2016


Since its first appearance in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock n’ Roll musical.  It has been performed worldwide in over 30 countries in every continent and has been translated into more than 20 languages.  To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Christopher Luscombe has created a brand new production which is touring the UK until December 2016.

As ever, the show promises to thrill, following squeaky-clean sweethearts Brad and Janet on an adventure they’ll never forget.  What awaits is a night of fun, frolics and frivolity with the scandalous Frank N Furter, rippling Rocky and vivacious Magenta, bursting at the seams with timeless classics such as Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp.

Shannon Rawlins of What’s On London spoke to Dr. Frank N Furter himself, Liam Tamne, about his character’s charisma, energy and heels …

The Rocky Horror Show is a widely establish phenomenon and has a big cult following.  Had you seen the film before you auditioned for the part?

Oh, I was always a huge fan of the film, but I’d never seen the show until I went to audition.  It was on at The Playhouse recently so I went to see it and it was nothing like I had ever seen before.  It was completely unique.

How has the tour been so far?  How do you find the heckling, is it easy to deal with or is each crowd unique?

During rehearsals, they rehearse it with you but you can’t prepare yourself for it.  I never know what they’re going to say.  Although because Frank’s such an out-there type of character, I see it as though the audience are a part of his personality.  You can’t plan it, and that’s the joy.  It’s like a script itself and you know the true fans of the show when they shout all the prompts at you.

Frank is such an iconic character and Tim Curry has obviously put a huge stamp on his mannerisms, his voice and all aspects.  Was it nerve-wracking to take on such a popular character?

Yes of course, I mean I loved Tim Curry’s performance, but having said that I didn’t want to play it as Tim Curry because it’s been done, so what’s the point?  I think that I bring a youthful, energised, charismatic, ‘could flip at any moment’ element to the role.  Also, I play it American, mainly because I feel like Richard O’Brien wrote it American, just based on speaking patterns and stuff.

Costume-wise, how is that going?

I love it, it’s just so easy, not having to put on suits, or wear an awful lot!  When I did Hair, I was used to not having to wear everything.  I’ve done so much theatre where I have to wear costumes and suits so this is a nice change.  I’m so used to the heels now, I mean touch wood I haven’t fell over in them or anything!

In terms of the LGBT demographic, how important do you think it is to have characters like Frank N Furter on stage, in film, TV, etc?

Absolutely, it should be in the forefront of people’s minds anyway.  We’re very fortunate to be in a country where it is acceptable.  We see a lot of transgender programmes and rightly so.  I mean I’m getting married to my partner in September so it’s something which is very close to my heart.

What’s On London will be reviewing the Wimbledon date of Rocky Horror soon.  Tickets for all UK of its tour dates are available now.

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