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Rocky at Forty: Ben Forster plays Brad

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Following his performance as Jesus in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, another of the unlikely cast members is Ben Forster.

Can I just congratulate you on your performance as Jesus. I can’t wait to see it on DVD.

Thank you, it was so brilliant to get to do it, and they really have shot the DVD so well. It’s superb, well, I think so.

How do you go from playing Jesus to playing Brad in one step?
It was just one of those decisions really. I was offered the role and I really wanted to do something different after playing Jesus. After being in Superstar, which was so emotional, I wanted to do something was just completely different and Rocky really is that.

The show is a complete contrast. I have a totally different character, and role, and it’s something that I can have a lot of fun with for a few months. I really want to do that after spending so long dying, and getting strung up, and stuff so, for me, it will be a really nice change and it was really appealing when I got offered it.

Performing in Jesus Christ Superstar must have been very emotionally taxing.
Oh yes, it’s all to do with the place you have to take yourself to every day. It’s like going to the deepest, darkest place that you can go to when you play a role like that, especially towards the end of the show. It was really hard, emotionally.

But now you get to play a nerd!
Yes, I’m going to be a nerd and get heckled a lot, but we all get heckled in this show.

I talked to you a couple of times in the run up to playing Jesus and you told me about your preparations for that role. How do you prepare for something like this?
Well, I’m using Oliver Thornton a lot to give me my stiletto lessons and, because he’s an expert, I’m doing quite well there. To be honest, I’m more worried about getting the American accent right. I’ve played Doody in Grease before and he’s kind of a nerdy, geeky, funny, version of an American guy, so I’m just preparing as much as I can like I did for that role.

I am very worried about dealing with all the heckling though. I’m wondering if I should try and prepare some answers or if I should just get used to all the abuse. I like the idea of being abused like that so I’ll probably take it all in my stride after a while, but I think I’ll need a thick skin. It’s a very exciting prospect.

And after you leave the tour of Rocky Horror, I understand that you’re back to being strung up on a daily basis.
Yes, it’s been announced now. I am playing Brad until we finish in Glasgow, so I’ll be in it until 2 March. Then Superstar starts its 2013 arena tour on 10 March in Nottingham ,and I’ll be back playing Jesus.


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