‘Highlight of the tour’ Rocky Horror’s Riff Raff on performing in the North East

The Rocky Horror Show will return to the Sunderland Empire in January 2024.

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Out of this world musical theatre production, The Rocky Horror Show, will be returning to the Sunderland Empire’s stage again, in the New Year.

The musical, which was created by Richard O’Brien in 1973, became a global phenomenon, which is still adored by audiences all over the world. 

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A movie version was adapted in 1975, starring the likes of Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Richard O’Brien himself in lead roles. 

The Rocky Horror Show musical theatre production continues to tour to this day, and celebrated 50 successful years in June of this year. 

The show will embark on yet another UK and Dublin tour in January 2024, extending the 50th anniversary celebrations.

Welsh-born actor Kristian Lavercombe, is someone who can certainly celebrate The Rocky Horror Show’s successful run, as he himself has starred as Riff Raff (the role creator Richard O’Brien brought to life in the movie version), for over 2,500 shows.

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We spoke to Kristian on how it feels to perform in the iconic show so many times, his love for the Time Warp, and why he looks forward to returning to the North East.

“I think people think it gets easier as you go along,” he said, referring to the impressive amount of times he has performed as Riff Raff. 

“It actually gets more challenging, but I really enjoy the challenge.”

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Kristian tells us of how the audience and their interaction with the show is one of the main reasons why he has returned to the production time and time again.

He said: “The audience makes Rocky Horror a special thing to be a part of. The audience keeps on coming back for more and it is guaranteed to be different every time.”

One of the most popular songs from The Rocky Horror Show is the Time Warp, which is led by Kristian’s character Riff Raff. 

Kristian explained: “It’s a piece of iconic cult culture. Everybody knows the time warp - we’ve all grown up with it. 

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“For me personally, I adore singing the time warp, and seeing everyone in the crowd mouthing the words back to you or up on their feet dancing.”

Speaking on The Rocky Horror Show’s return to the North East, Kristain said: “In places like Sunderland we always sell out.

“There’s a reason we come back to the North East so often, and that’s because the audiences are fabulous there.

“I must have performed at the Sunderland Empire as part of Rocky Horror around seven times, and each time it’s been a highlight of the tour.”

The Rocky Horror ShowThe Rocky Horror Show
The Rocky Horror Show
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The plot of The Rocky Horror Show focuses on a newly-engaged couple (Brad and Janet) who get caught in a storm and end up in the home of a mad scientist (Frank-N-Furter), who is joined by other bizarre characters.

The Rocky Horror Show will be performing at the Sunderland Empire from Monday, January 8 until Saturday, January 13 2024. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the ATG Tickets website.