Rocky at Forty: Oliver Thornton plays Frank 'N 'FurterDate: 14 December 2012
Next in this interview series, I talked to Oliver Thornton about his role as Frank, and why he keeps on turning up on stage in high heels!
I understand that you’ve had a very varied stage career, including a long stint in drag, haven’t you?
So you’re no stranger to appearing on stage in lingerie then!
I have to say that I really surprised myself because I very much like my home comforts and the thought of going out on such a huge tour terrified me but, again, the draw of Frank pulled me out of that comfort zone as well. I think it’s just one of those roles that, if you are lucky enough to get offered it, you just have to say yes.
And, of course, you’re following in some mighty footsteps!
Well, I wasn’t just thinking of Tim Curry, but David Badella has had the part for a while now as well.
When I met him, after he called me to ask if I would be interested in doing it, I knew after just five minutes of being with Chris that I would be in good hands. He’s fantastic and I really respect the fact that he’s taking it seriously as well because I think that it’s what this show needs.
It’s for the audience to enjoy but for us to – kind of – take seriously, in terms of telling the story and all of those things that come with putting on a good production. So I trust that he saw something in me to make him think I could do it and I trust that it will be a fantastic version of the show and I’ll do my very best to do it justice.
Chris’s last two productions – Dandy Dick and Blue/Orange – were just spectacular.
Everything was “bang on the money” and I think that’s where he really succeeds. There’s nothing in there that you, as an audience member, might feel was lost. Chris has got a really clear vision and that’s what we need as actors. We need the director to come to the table with a really strong vision of what he thinks, and what he wants, and then we create it around that.
So, you’re not worried about popping the high heels back on again then?
I am a little concerned that, as someone is going to spend the entire production in lingerie, you don’t regard this as drag!
I think if you approached it thinking this is a man who, for instance, wants to be Kylie Minogue as my character was in Priscilla, then that would be completely the wrong direction to go.