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Ben Forster On ... Going from Jesus to Rocky

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Following his performance as Jesus in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Ben Forster is currently playing Brad in the 40th anniversary tour of the Rocky Horror Show.

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.

How do you prepare for the role of Brad?
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. 

- Ben Forster was speaking to Paul Lucas-Scott


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