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O'Brien Premieres Stripper, Bedella Leads Rocky

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A new 'pulp fiction detective musical' by Richard O'Brien and Richard Hartley, the team behind The Rocky Horror Show, will begin a short tour in the Autumn. The Stripper, billed as a 'burlesque and bullets musical theatre adaptation', is based on Carter Brown's 1981 book of the same name, and opens at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch on 28 August 2009.

The Stripper tells the story of police Lieutenant Al Wheeler as he struggles to solve the mystery of the death of wannabe actress Patty Keller. First call was delectable Deadpan Dolores, a strawberry blonde who worked at the Club Extravaganza. She didn’t usually keep things under wraps, so what was she hiding? With a nose for crime and an eye for the ladies, Wheeler will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth.

Writer O'Brien is best-known as the creator of rock musical, The Rocky Horror Show. Inspired by his childhood love of schlock sci-fi films, Rocky Horror premiered at the Royal Court in 1973 and later spawned the 1975 cult film, starring Susan Sarandon. The musical celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1998 with a Jubilee tour of the UK, touching down briefly in the West End, and is touring again in the Autumn (see below).

The Stripper visits the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, from 28 August to 19 September, the Milton Keynes Theatre from 22 to 26 September and the Glasgow Kings Theatre from 29 September to 3 October 2009.

O'Brien and Hartley's best-known work, The Rocky Horror Show, is being revived for a major tour from September, with David Bedella reprising his role as mad scientist Frank 'n' Furter in a production directed by Christopher Luscombe (who also returns to the show).

Cult classic The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of engaged sweethearts Brad and Janet who are forced to seek refuge in a castle “full of the maddest, baddest and sexiest group the world has ever seen”. The score includes “Sweet Transvestite”, “Damit Janet” and “The Time Warp”.

It's been revived a number of times since its 1973 premiere, and was most recently seen in the West End for a short run at the Comedy Theatre over Christmas 2006 (See News, 21 Nov 2006), when Bedella led the cast along with Suzanne Shaw as Janet.

Best known for creating the roles of Satan/Warm Up Man in Jerry Springer - The Opera, for which he won the 2004 Best Actor Laurence Olivier Award, David Bedella has starred in numerous Broadway and US national tours including Jesus Christ Superstar, La Cage Aux Folles, West Side Story, A Chorus Line and The Rocky Horror Show, alongside Meatloaf, on Broadway and in US national tours. On television he has appeared in Holby City.

The Rocky Horror Show will tour from September and will visit: Wimbledon (17-26 Sept), Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent (28 Sept - 3 Oct), Milton Keynes Theatre (5-10 Oct) Bromley Churchill (12-17 Oct), Woking New Victoria (19-24 Oct), Brighton Theatre Royal (26-31 Oct), Birmingham Hippodrome (2-7 Nov), Liverpool Empire (9-14 Nov), Windsor Theatre Royal (16 – 21 Nov) Glasgow Kings (23-28 Nov), Manchester Palace (7-12 Dec), Southampton Mayflower (18-23 Jan 2010), Leicester De Montfort Hall (15 - 20 Feb 2010). Further dates to be announced.

The tour is produced by Howard Panter for ATG and Bill Kenwright, with further casting to be announced soon.


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