Roxanne Pallett will star in The Rocky Horror Show which will be hitting New Wimbledon Theatre in the new year. Luke Gardener spoke to her for SWL
How do you feel to be involved in the 40th anniversary tour of The Rocky Horror Show?
It’s a massive honour, it is such an iconic show and soundtrack and film, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t get excited at the sound of Rocky Horror. Of every role I have played this year when I say I am going to be in Rocky Horror, everyone’s eyes light up. It is really exciting to see the reaction. I can’t even imagine what the audience is going to be like. I am thrilled and excited to be a part of it.
What sort of challenges will you face playing the role of Janet in the show?
The thing is, I am probably known best for dramas such as Emmerdale and my gritty performances – I am probably more tragedy than comedy. I am usually known for my crying and broken characters who are very vulnerable so Janet is a real breath of fresh air for me.
I am playing a role that is iconic in that 1940s era and she embodies the American Dream as well. It is a challenge but it is really refreshing for me as an actor. It will keep me alive on stage really as doing a tour you have to find new moments every evening to keep the run going. Playing a character which evolves on stage in the space of two hours is thirst-quenching.
Are you excited to be working alongside Rhydian and the other actors involved in the show?
Rhydian is not here yet but I am sure he will be great. I have met Ben Forster who I am absolutely in love with. He is such a dream leading man, we have been out a couple of times together and we are going to live together over Christmas in Brighton. All of the cast is wonderful. Oliver Thornton plays the eccentric character of Frank N Furter down to a tee. We have a really dynamic cast and everyone brings something different to the table which is exciting for us and hopefully it will be for the audience as well.
Have rehearsals started yet?
Yes they started last week; we have been going through all the songs because it is so musically driven. Richard O’Brien is a creative genius and that is why the show has transcended so many years and decades. There is a real sense of magic in the rehearsal room. We know the audience are going to go wild for the songs, the harmonies sound great.
How does stage acting differ from screen acting for you?
Both have challenges and rewards in very different ways. A lot of people ask me what I prefer and that is like asking me if you have children which child is your favourite. You just can’t call it because they both have there own highlights. My privilege is the fact that I can do both and that this year I have done television, film and now theatre as well.
As an actor to be able to spread your wings and be able to play so many roles is what you strive for. This year I have done a horror, a comedy, a gritty drama and now I am Janet in Rocky Horror! My family can’t keep up. That is why I left Emmerdale because I don’t think you can play one role for your whole career and consider yourself an actor or actress.
What are your plans for after the Rocky Horror Show?
I have got two movies coming out next summer so when I leave Rocky Horror in May I will be promoting them as they are both going to be cinematically released. One is an international release so there will be a lot of flying to America and promoting and doing a lot of press for them. It is exciting really because they are so different to doing a musical and I will be ready then. It is almost like craving an appetite when you’re an actor so I will feel fulfilled after doing Rocky Horror and will be ready to visit my screen stuff again. After that I will definitely need a holiday though!
Have you performed at the New Wimbledon Theatre before?
Yes, I was in the Vagina Monologues in 2011 and it was great. A lot of my friends who are based in London will come to that show so I will look forward to it. You do get a wave of energy when you are starting to flag a bit when people you know are there or you hear the audience ten minutes before the start. They become your adrenaline rush. Wimbledon will be a great place to perform because a lot of my actor friends will be coming down to watch the show.
Have you ever thought about returning to Emmerdale or to soaps in general?
If Emmerdale had a great storyline for Jo to return I would definitely look at that and it would be an option because I am so grateful to the writers for giving me that amazing storyline and I couldn’t have showed my acting ability without them.
I think soaps are very underrated; actors are filming 12 scenes a day whereas in a drama you might only do two or three. It is very fast-paced and incredibly hard work. I don’t think people give soap actors the credit they deserve. If the character and storyline grabs me I will consider any role.
Finally bringing it back to Rocky Horror, is there any city on tour you are particularly excited to visit?
I am really excited to go up north as that is where I am from. Manchester, Liverpool and Sunderland in particular because it is my neck of the woods and I know what the people up there are like. Also one random thing I have had to do for the show is dye my hair blonde for the role of Janet so maybe I will stay as a blonde afterwards if all goes well.
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