entertainment

Stephen Fry and a Spice Girl join Rocky Horror cast

2015-08-14
What happens when you cross a Spice Girl, Stephen Fry and a British Bake Off star? The Narrator for a special event stage revival of The Rocky Horror Show. Featuring QI host Stephen Fry, former Baby Spice Emma Bunton and The Great British Bake Off co-host Mel Giedroyc, a limited stage revival of the cult musical hit will London in September to mark the 40-year anniversary of the iconic screen adaptation. Opening on the West End at the Playhouse Theatre, Digital Spy reports a special gala performance is to be held on September 17 and simulcast in cinemas across the UK and Europe to raise aid money for Amnesty International, alongside 11 sold-out shows. It has been revealed that Fry, Bunton and Giedroyc will appear at the gala event to jointly narrate the tale of an engaged couple who end up in the mansion of a crazed scientist after their car breaks down. Rocky Horror creator and Crystal Maze host Richard O’Brien, who played Riff Raff in the 1975 screen version steps back onto stage for the first time in 20 years. Fry said the role was “a dream come true”. “I’ve been a devoted fan of The Rocky Horror Show for most of my life and I have been proud to support the incredible work of Amnesty International for just as long, “ he said. Bunton said she was “excited about being involved in the legendary Rocky Horror Show”. Stephen-Fry_640x345_acf_cropped “Richard O’Brien has written something that is a huge part of British culture. I’m looking forward to shaking my tush to the Time Warp!” Joining the celebrities is Olivier Award winner David Bedella, who will play Dr Frank-n-Furter, Ben Forster as Brad, Haley Flaherty as Janet. Guests attending the special Amnesty gala performance can help take action for Ihar Tsikhanyuk, an openly gay Belarus drag performer who was taken from his hospital bed and beaten by police for campaigning on gay rights. While being gay in Belarus is not illegal, it remains hard for LGBT people to access rights and there are no specific laws to protect them. Amnesty International UK’s Events Manager Akita Hancock was "delighted that so many special guest stars have agreed to be part of what promises to be a spectacular performance. "The Rocky Horror Show is a fabulous celebration of freedom and expression – a fundamental area of Amnesty’s work. So this is a perfect opportunity to rally support for men and women like Ihar Tsikhanyuk and to call for justice for all transgender people whose rights are under threat.” The Rocky Horror Show runs at the Playhouse Theatre from 11 to 19 September, before kicking off a UK tour in December. Words by TROY NANKERVIS.