Dick Whittington – REVIEW

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Combine David Shields’ stunning, cartoon-like set, a rambunctious dame and classic panto slapstick and you have a recipe for five-star Christmas success. The Mercury Theatre’s 2016 pantomime, Dick Whittington, was a well-executed production with a stellar cast. The hilarious Anthony Stuart-Hicks returns for his second year in the annual panto, this time as Sarah the Cook – whose heels get higher and costumes more outrageous with each scene, alongside kid’s favourite Dale Superville, as Idle Jack, who together adlibbed and corpsed their way to ardent applause.

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Interview with Rocky Horror’s Richard Meek

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As the Rocky Horror Show prepares for its finale this Saturday (26th September 2015) at the Playhouse Theatre in London, I caught up with leading cast member, Richard Meek, who plays Eddie and Dr Scott, to find out what it’s been like to be part of the cult musical.

Rocky Horror is a fantastic show known the world-over, what’s it like to be part of?

It’s such an honour to be part of the Rocky family. There truly is no other show like it and the fans are incredible.

How did you get involved with the show?image5

My first time being involved in this show was when I auditioned for the part of Brad in October 2006. I then joined the 2007 UK tour playing Brad. I reprised that role in the 2010 UK tour, subsequently joining the Rocky Horror Show in New Zealand and Singapore in 2013. I was asked to come in at very short notice to cover Eddie/Dr Scott as the actor was injured. I ended up doing three months and finishing the tour. Then, this year, I got the call asking me to reprise that role in the West End and I jumped at the chance.

Were you a Rocky Horror fan before the show?

Honestly, I had never even seen the film, so it was a complete surprise to me when I found out exactly what Brad got up to!

What’s it like getting up on the stage every night with the show’s creator, Richard O’Brien? 

It’s truly an honour. Having had him join us on stage lots over the years, and with him as narrator in New Zealand, I thought I knew what to expect, but this West End run has far exceeded my expectations.

What’s the best heckle you’ve had so far? 

On this run I really enjoyed, ‘name a Lionel Richie song’ [as Riff-Raff opens door to say hello].

What’s your favourite part about being on stage?

Performing the songs. They are such classics and I pinch myself every night.

Rocky Horror is a full-on, energetic show, how do you prepare for something like that every day?

Regular exercise, sleep, no alcohol and vitamins.

image2Who do you prefer to play, Eddie or Dr Scott? 

Tough one. I love the energy and the explosiveness of Eddie (pictured left) but I equally love the comedy and the anger/high drama of Dr Scott and Eddie’s Teddy.

What have been your favourite shows to be part of throughout your career on the stage?

I loved playing Joseph as it was a favourite show of mine as a child. Being part of Spamalot was a dream role and a dream song for me. I equally loved Starlight Express as it was the hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and of course Rocky, which is the closest to my heart.

How did you get into theatre?   

I was encouraged in my secondary school, so I left and trained at a college in Norfolk then went on to the London School of Musical Theatre.

What’s next for you after Rocky Horror finishes?

I’m very much looking forward to playing Prince Charming [in Sleeping Beauty] at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton. Prior to that I will be teaching in special needs schools.

The Rocky Horror Show finishes its run at the Playhouse Theatre in London on Saturday 26th September, with a UK tour kicking off on 18th December starting at Theatre Royal in Brighton – find out more at www.rockyhorror.co.uk.

You can book to see Richard Meek in Sleeping Beauty at www.floralpavilion.com.