Haymarket artistic director Paul Kerryson co-devised Hot Stuff with Maggie Norris in 1992. Since then, the nostalgic 1970s take on Faust has enjoyed a stint in the West End, three national tours and nine runs in Leicester. Joe Soap is a feeble wannabe rock star who sells his soul to the devil for success. His rags-to-riches story is told against disco hits from Abba, Queen, the Village People and others.
Purnell, who stars as Joe Soap, earlier this year won Whatsonstage.com's Theatregoers' Choice Awards 2002 for both Best Actor in a Musical and Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for, respectively, Songs for a New World at the Bridewell and the RSC's The Secret Garden in the West End.
Western, who plays devilish drag queen Lucy Fur, won the 2001 Best Supporting Actor Olivier for his drag performance as Miss West Coast in the King's Head production of Pageant which transferred to the West End's Vaudeville Theatre. His other stage credits include Tallulah Darling, The Rocky Horror Show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Torch Song Trilogy.
Also in the cast of Hot Stuff, which continues to 12 October 2002, are Mykal Rand, Debbie Kurup, Yildiz Hussein, Pippa Raine, Philippe Reynolds, Keisha Marina Atwell and Kevin Brewis.
The Leicester Haymarket season continues with Noel Greig's Plague of Innocence (18 October to 2 November), an adaptation of Roald Dahl's children's story The Witches (22 November to 14 December) and a Christmas season of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, directed by Kerryson (20 December 2002 to 8 February 2003).
- by Terri Paddock