Rocky Horror returns to throw New Vic audiences into a Time Warp once again

IF PAUL CATTERMOLE sets his heart on something, it seems to happen.

The former S Club 7 band member gave up life as a popstar to record heavy metal songs with his band Skuer – and now he’s returned to his first love, stage musicals.

“I was in a bar with a mate from my days at Mountview Drama School and we were discussing things that were coming up, and one of those was the tour of The Rocky Horror Show,” Paul recalls.

“He said ‘You have to sing the Hot Patootie song, it’s something you have to do’, and that got me going. I decided at that moment to go for it, and fortunately it came off.”

He landed the ‘classic double’ role of Eddie and Dr Scott in the show and explains: “It’s the role Meatloaf played in the film version. I’m not saying I can do it like Meatloaf at all, but it is something I think I do well.

Writer Richard O’Brien’s (also of TV’s Crystal Maze fame) movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show,  hit the big screen in 1975, but has been running almost continuously since 1973 on the stage. The party ‘over at the Frankenstein place’ is famed for its audience participation, including rice throwing, water pistol shenanigans and umbrella waving.

Paul says: “I’d only been once as a punter – at the Playhouse last year – and I didn’t really dress up, I just took a bowler hat and sunglasses.

“But as a performer, I love it when the audience dress up and join in. It’s awesome and helps the energy and the tempo of the show. The audience influence the way the show goes a lot.

“If you know them all, there are probably 40 or 50 shout-outs in the show and, if they’re timed right, it is brilliant.”

He says the level of fan participation doesn’t vary too much around the country, but adds: “It tends to build through the week, until you get to the Saturday night and then it’s like a rock show. A lot of people will come to the matinee and then return for the evening show as well.

“Some of them will have a few drinks before the afternoon show, so by the evening one some of them have to crawl to their seats! Some of the superfans come over and over again. There’s a guy who often sits in the front row and has a denim jacket absolutely covered in Rocky Horror badges. I don’t know what he does for a job but he told me he spends everything he’s got on coming to see Rocky.”

The long-running appeal of the tale of lead couple Janet Weiss (currently played by Diana Vickers) and Brad Majors (Richard Meek) is a bit of amystery to Paul, but he says that he’s heard it described as an ‘adult panto’.

“I’d say that’s fair comment,” he explains, “but there’s a lot more to it than that. The characters are really well crafted and the story is great in a movie-like, cartoon-like kind of way.”

As for his own future, Paul adds: “I still love music. I’d like to revisit the last Skuer album because it could have been so much better.

“I’d go back to S Club if something came up, although that depends on which girls are having babies!”

The Rocky Horror Show will be at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Monday 27 June until Saturday 2 July. Visit www.atgtickets.com for more information.

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