Comedy legend Stephen Fry, Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc and Spice Girl Emma Bunton are the first celebrities to be announced as special guest stars in the Gala Charity Performance of The Rocky Horror Show at London’s Playhouse Theatre on 17th September, which will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and Europe.
They will join the creator of The Rocky Horror Show, Richard O’Brien, on stage for one night only as all four of them take their turn performing the role of ‘The Narrator’. This Gala performance, in aid of Amnesty International, is the highlight of 11 special performances of The Rocky Horror Show at The Playhouse from 11th – 19th September, all starring Richard O’Brien. Tickets for these shows were in such high demand that they sold out in less than 72 hours.
Those attending the special Amnesty gala performance will also have the opportunity to take action for Ihar Tsikhanyuk, an openly gay drag performer living in Belarus who was taken from his hospital bed and beaten by police for campaigning on gay rights. Although being gay in Belarus is not illegal, it remains hard for LGBTI people to access rights and there are no specific laws to protect them.
Casting for the 11 performances at The Playhouse includes Olivier award winner David Bedella, who most recently toured the UK in The Producers, will be making a return to the show as the lead character, Frank ‘n’ Furter. Bedella has performed in Rocky many times since 2006 and last appeared in 2010. Ben Forster, who won the ITV1 series Superstar and went on to play the title role in the Jesus Christ Superstar UK arena tour will star as Brad. He last played Brad in the 40th Anniversary UK tour. Returning as Janet, is West End star Haley Flaherty, who has performed the role in tours in Singapore, New Zealand and UK. She will be joined by Kristian Lavercombe, reprising the role of Riff Raff, having previously notched up nearly 1000 performances around the world.
These special London performances precede a nationwide UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show, which opens at the Theatre Royal Brighton on 17 December 2015.