Jesus to don suspenders for Sunderland show

Former Thornhill School pupils Ben Forster and Michael Pickering, now touring the UK in the latest production of Jesus Christ Superstar, have been back to their old school.
Former Thornhill School pupils Ben Forster and Michael Pickering, now touring the UK in the latest production of Jesus Christ Superstar, have been back to their old school.
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SUNDERLAND superstar Ben Forster will be swapping his loin cloth for suspenders to appear on his home stage.

For the first time since he won ITV’s search for a new Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Ben’s hometown fans will be able to see him perform on Wearside.

It has been announced that the former Thornhill School pupil will play Brad in a forthcoming tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

He will appear alongside former X Factor contestant Rhydian Roberts, former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett and West End star Oliver Thornton when the show runs at the Sunderland Empire in February.

The tour is taking place to mark the 40th anniversary of the risqué show featuring tracks Science Fiction/Double Feature, Dammit Janet and The Time-Warp.

Since it first hit the stage at the Royal Court Theatre 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 for nearly 40 years, in more than 30 countries, covering every continent, and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

To mark the 40th anniversary, Christopher Luscombe is creating a new production for a year-long UK National adventure starting at Brighton’s Theatre Royal on December 20, before stopping off at the Sunderland Empire for a one-week run from February 18.

Ben, 31, of Millfield, won the hearts of the nation when he starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV search for a musical star, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Ben fought off fierce competition from other entrants to be crowned Jesus and last month set off on tour alongside Mel B and Chris Moyles.

l The Rocky Horror Show is at Sunderland Empire from February 18-23.

Tickets priced £10 to £29.50 are available on Tel. 0844 871 3022.

Twitter: @sunechokaty