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Rhydian talks about his "outrageous" new role
THE Rocky Horror Show is celebrating its 40th year- 40 years of outrageous dancing, singing and loyal fans dressing to kill. And to commemorate this there is all new anniversary party production with an all star cast. Former X-Factor contestant and classically trained baritone singer Rhydian is playing Rocky, which means baring all in a small pair of pants. He talks about working out, wearing leopard print knickers and the pressure of X-Factor.
Rhydian had just been to the gym when I spoke to him. He doesn't wear many clothes in his new part so he has to make sure he is in tip top shape.
He said: "I am playing Rocky so I have got to be in relatively good shape. "I have got to go every day. It is a bit of a bore but I get paid for it."
The Rocky Horror Show has a cult following with fans all over the globe dressing up in outrageous clothes to watch the show. It is probably one of the rudest musicals and has had a slight make-over for its 40th. The stage show was created by Richard O'Brien.
As well as Rhydian the new cast includes West End star Oliver Thornton, who has appeared in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and more, and he will be playing Frank 'n' Furter. Former Emmerdale and Waterloo Road actress Roxanne Pallett will star as Janet and Ben Forster, who won the ITV1 series Superstar, will star as Brad.
The story follows Brad and Janet as they come across the scandalous Frank'n'Furter, rippling Rocky and vivacious Magenta.
It includes the musical songs Time Warp, Sweet Transvetite and Damn It Janet.
Rhydian, who is also musical theatre actor and TV presenter, said about the show: "It is like no other. It is a relatively small cast. It is a cult show. It has a huge following. It is a big party."
And he said musicals are his passion due to his training. He has starred in The War of the Worlds-Live on Stage!, We Will Rock You and Grease since he came second in the X-Factor in 2007 to Leon Jackson. This will be his fourth musical.
He said: "I thought Rocky was a good role for me. They were thinkning about Frank'n'furter but I'm not sure if I would be able to deal with all the audience participation."
He first saw the show when he was 19. The 29-year-old laughed: "It is outrageous. There are so many sexual innuendos- you lose all your inibitions. "It is so much fun. Last Thursday and Friday did a couple of scenes with Brad and Janis.
"It is just outrageous. I am wearing very little- I am wearing leopard print knickers. "They are really not comfortable."
And he said the worst thing is he has to wear a dance belt which is quite tight, although he laughed he is going to get his custom made so it is a bid wider. And he seems pretty comfortable with the role although he did say the only role he couldn't do is in Hair, as you have to get completely naked.
He said: "There are so many cameras and phones in the audience. It is probably not a good idea."
He added: "You know these WWF wrestlers- they wear very little. I am wearing gold bits and pants- just pretend I am a wrestler."
And he said he still thinks the show is outrageous, even now. Rhydian said: "It is so left of the field. It is just rebellious particularly at the time when it was written in the 70s."
As well as being in the musicals he has released four albums, the first went platinum. He has toured the UK and is an ambassador of The Prince's Trust.
He said: "I certainly do a lot with the Prince's Trust. It is difficult to say no to Prince Charles. I have done a few things with him. He's awesome."
He also works with the Carers Trust, which is mum works for, and Music For Autism, as his singing teachers works for the charity and has a severely autistic son. And as well as this he presented an eight-part TV series for Welsh channel, S4C.
He said: "It is really good having my own show. It was a lot of work and pressure. We recorded three shows a day. It was a great experience. I was honoured that the channel thought I could carry that responsibility. There were great viewing figures."
He said he would like to do more series but he said first and foremost he is a singer and an actor. He saw a couple of episodes of the X-Factor and he surprised Christopher Maloney was in the final three.
Rhydian said about Chris: "I feel a bit sorry for him in fairness. He has done jolly well. He will make a lot of money for about four months. Save it, enjoy it."
When he was on the show in 2007 he was favourite to win, but Leon pipped him to the post. His mentor was Dannii Minogue.
He said: "It was an amazing time- it's five years now. It was at the height of the show." But he you do need to have the wherewithal to prepare yourself for afterwards to keep working. He said: "People still remember me after five years because of my hair and name. X-Factor gave me a brand which is essential."
Another album will be on its way but not quite yet. He said: "I just want to be booked for the next 25 years or more."
The Rocky Horror Show is at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from February 4- 9 at 8pm with Friday and Saturday performances at 5.30 and 8.30pm. Tickets range from £10-£25 from www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call 0844 8717644.
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