Christine Hamilton, "Nasty Nick" Bateman, Rhona Cameron and John Stalker must be amongst the most unlikely casting choices of the year for stage musicals. Nevertheless, all four celebrities will be stepping into stockings and suspenders to join the imminent 30th anniversary tour of Richard O'Brien's cult classic The Rocky Horror Show (See News, 13 Aug 2002).

The touring production opens at Bromley's Churchill Theatre on 30 September 2002 before continuing until March 2003 to venues across the country. The four celebs will alternate in the role of The Narrator throughout the run. Bateman will launch the tour in Bromley and return later for Richmond, Bristol and Woking; Hamilton will appear in Oxford and Milton Keynes; Scottish stand-up Cameron heads north of the border to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen; and Stalker fills in at Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester.

Hamilton, Bateman and Stalker have achieved notoriety for their various media appearances. Stalker is the former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police who resigned after the Moss Side riots. Bateman featured in the first series of reality TV show Big Brother and was famously evicted for his duplicity. Hamilton (pictured) has remained in the public eye since sticking so aggressively by her disgraced Tory MP husband Neil. Both she and comedienne Cameron are currently appearing on ITV's reality survival programme I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

The rest of the Rocky Horror cast is comprised of pop star Jonathan Wilkes as Frank N Furter (Godspell), Neil Couperthwaite as Riff Raff (Rent, Grease, Starlight Express, Mother Clap's Molly House), Graham Tudor as Rocky (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Witches of Eastwick), Drew Jaymson as Eddie (Taboo), Katie Rowley-Jones (Janet), Jon Boydon (Brad), Andrea Stevens (Magenta) and Sally Hunt (Columbia).

Inspired by Richard O'Brien's childhood love of schlock sci-fi films, the original Rocky Horror premiered at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in 1973 and later spawned the 1975 cult film (starring Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry and Meatloaf) as well as countless revivals. The score includes "Sweet Transvestite," "Damn It Janet" and "Time Warp".

The 30th anniversary tour is directed by Christopher Malcolm, who starred as Brad in the original Royal Court production and who directed the show's Silver Jubilee revival, which starred Jason Donovan and transferred to the West End. Following Bromley, The Rocky Horror Show continues, respectively, to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Bradford, Richmond, Oxford, Bristol, Woking, Stoke-on-Trent, Belfast, Milton Keynes and Brighton. More dates and venues will be announced shortly.

- by Terri Paddock