And now for something completely different...
After wowing us with her Eva Peron on stage in Evita, Chichester’s Abigail Jaye is now strutting the boards in The Rocky Horror Show.
The show’s 40th anniversary production is at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, this week (May 13-18).
“I really wanted to do something different,” says Abigail who has just been in the West End with Blood Brothers, playing Mrs Lyons and covering the lead role Mrs Johnstone, getting to go on in the part five or six times.
“It was really interesting to be playing opposite yourself! When I went back to being Mrs Lyons, I ended up saying quite a few lines wrong.”
Now, it’s yet another challenge: “It would be very boring if you were just doing the same things. You wouldn’t want to get typecast all the time.”
She’s now half way through the Rocky run – a show she came to without prior knowledge: “I have never seen it myself. I’ve never actually watched it out front. That’s one of the drawbacks of being on stage! And then I was always working when it was on tour.
“But it is so much fun. It’s like a party – just lots and lots and lots of fun. The cast are lovely and the band is fantastic.”
And the audience add to the fun – by dressing up. It depends on the venue just how many of them do so: “Some venues like Glasgow, you get more than half of them dressing up. In other places that are perhaps more refined, you just get the front two rows.”
But maybe more important are the call-outs, Abigail says: “There are moments in the show where the fans know what to shout out. There are specific lines, and you expect them and if you don’t get them, it’s strange.”
All of which makes it sounds a little bit like an exclusive club to the uninitiated? Absolutely not, says Abigail.
“For the first-timer, that’s half the fun. You have got hundreds of people dressing up and shouting out. That’s an added bonus! Actually, it is very inclusive.
“And it is not too risqué. There is nothing bad at all. It’s just really good fun. We are in our underwear, but it is not actual underwear. It is not like you are walking into a strip show. We are all fairly covered up. It’s just wonderful fun. You have to experience it to understand how different it is to any other musical you might see. To call it a musical is a bit of a stretch really. It’s basically a party!”
And for Abigail, the Southampton leg of the tour is a chance to pop home to mum and dad in Chichester. Her mother is the soprano Jacquelyn Fugelle.
And yes, mum approves: “She wants to be in everything that I am in!”
Since its first appearance at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll musical. It has been performed worldwide for nearly 40 years in over 30 countries in every continent and has been translated into more than 20 languages.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary, Christopher Luscombe has created a new production for a year-long UK tour.
The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank ’n’ Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house, whilst on their way to visit their former college professor. It is an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits…
Tickets: 023 8071 1811.