Eastbourne’s getting ready for a Time Warp as the Rocky Horror Show comes to town next month.
Eastbourne Buzz had a chat with Liam Tamne who plays Dr Frank n Furter ahead of the run at the Congress Theatre:
What’s it like to be in a show like Rocky Horror?
It’s incredible. It’s an absolute honour to be a part of something that is so iconic and so current, even to this day, when the show is 43 years old. Put it this way - it’s a privilege to play a role like Frank n Furter. I love doing the show and it was never a role I envisioned myself ever, ever doing and the opportunity came about and it seems to be paying off!
You follow in the footsteps of some big names playing Dr Frank n Furter, does that faze you at all?
It sounds quite arrogant but it doesn’t faze me. The way that Christopher Luscombe, our director, works is that he wants me to be me. He wants me to bring what I bring to the role. The most iconic version is obviously Tim Curry, that’s what people see and a lot of the time, that’s what people expect, but if I were to go out there and do my version of Tim Curry, it wouldn’t be natural and wouldn’t come across very well. I try to, whenever I play a role, never think about who’s played it before because it wouldn’t serve the show and myself any purpose or justice, so I tend to not really get fazed. It’s not because I think I’m better, it’s to do with the fact that it’s an expression of what I bring to that character and who I am. It also makes it fresh for the audience to see something different.
What’s the best thing about playing a character like him?
I think it’s the freedom he has - as in the sense that I’ve always been very restricted, and I guess tied down in a way when I’ve done previous shows, but with this role it’s very much the audience participation which has a massive influence on how things are delivered. For example, it may influence the way I tend to deliver a line to a certain character if I know the audience is going to shout at something that is quite funny, or that I know what is going to play well for the next scene or a next line. It’s just a use of being able to be so expressive.
You have to walk in some fairly big heels, how do you get on with that?
I am a dancer – although I’ve never worn heels in my life - and when I got this role I thought ‘gosh it’s going to be hard’ but it actually came really easily.
Have you performed in Eastbourne before? If yes, where and in what?
No I haven’t – this is my first time going to Eastbourne. I live in Horsham so it’s not too far away.
Are you looking forward to coming to Eastbourne?
I love that side of the country and obviously we’ve been to Brighton, but I’ve never been to Eastbourne so I’m very much looking forward to going there. I’ve been to so many cool places but Eastbourne is somewhere I’m very much looking forward too.
Would you encourage the audience to come along in all the gear and with props?
Absolutely. What makes it so fun if you come dressed up, is that you feel part of something, like a family unit. Even if you don’t, you’ll get that vibe but it adds that extra special thing to the evening and you become part of the show. The audience - to me - is a personality, a persona really, of Frank n Furter’s mind and thoughts. If he was watching the show, this is exactly what he’d be shouting out. The audience being dressed gives them the confidence to shout out and get involved.
The Rocky Horror Show comes to Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre 19-24 September. Tickets are available online or by calling the Box Office on 01323 412000.