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Jesus in suspenders appears in Sunderland

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SEE Jesus as you’ve never seen him before when he performs in his home town.

Former Thornhill School pupil Ben Forster shot to fame in July after winning Superstar, ITV’s search for a new lead in musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Now, for the first time since winning the hit show, he will tread the boards in Sunderland.

The role will be a far cry from Jesus though - he’s ditching the loin cloth for suspenders to play Brad in The Rocky Horror Show which plays to Wearside audiences next month.

Ben from Millfield said: “My costume is the smallest out of all the cast, I’m in a pair of pants for most scenes. And I’ve never worn stilettos in my life but there’s a first time for everything.

“If you haven’t seen it you should brace yourself. It’s a massive rock and roll party where anything is acceptable. You can let your hair down - it’s an absolute riot.”

He added: “Doing it in front of a home crowd is really exciting too. I love a challenge, it’s what I thrive on.

“I’m stepping into pretty big shoes but if I’ve learnt anything this past year it’s how to deal with pressure.”

Ben stars in the production alongside Rhydian from X Factor, former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett and West End star Oliver Thornton.

The show marks 40 years since the raunchy musical first hit theatres with tunes that have gone on to become classics, such as Time-Warp, Science Fiction/Double Feature and Dammit Janet.

Ben said: “I never thought I would see the Empire full of Mackems in drag, I never thought that would happen while I was on stage. But I know it’s not the first time because I remember driving past when I was about 12 and seeing everyone dressed up waiting to go inside to see the show and thinking why are they dressed like that?”

“But anything goes at this show and having the audience interaction is such a thrill, it’s what we want to see.”

•The Rocky Horror Show comes to the Sunderland Empire from February 18-23. Tickets priced £10 - £29.50 are on sale now and are available on Tel. 0844 871 3022 and online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland.

Twitter: @sunechokaty

SINCE its first appearance 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 40 years, in over 30 countries in every continent and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

It tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank ’n’ Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house while on their way to visit their former college professor.

The show famously combines science-fiction, horror, comedy and music and encourages audience participation with fancy dress.

Starts such as Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Jerry Springer and Meatloaf, have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past 40 years.

 

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