Diana Vickers continues to break new ground as she steps into the Rocky Horror Show (Brighton Theatre Royal, December 17-January 2).
“I have never done a musical before,” says Diana, who first came to public attention in 2008 when she was a finalist on The X Factor. “I have done Little Voice, but that was a play with music. But this is very different!”
First performed on June 19, 1973, at the Royal Court Theatre, the 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 while on their way to visit their former college professor. It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.
“I had to go for four auditions for this. I was so pleased to get it. But it was very friendly, like going before a very friendly committee. Chris Luscombe (the director) is just so gorgeous, and everyone was so enthusiastic. I was wanting it more and more by the time I got to the fourth audition. I was starting to feel like it was mine! It was my agent who rang me to tell me I had got it. I was walking down Broadway Market and got the call. It was such a lovely feeling.
“I loved the film of Rocky Horror. I had never seen it on stage, but I have got so many friends that love it, that are huge fans. They were booking tickets even before they knew I was going to be in it. I went to the 40th anniversary screening, and it was fantastic. Everyone was dressed up to the nines, and people were jumping up and dancing. It was just great. Janet (whom Diana is playing) starts off quite innocent, but inside this woman there is quite a vixen that just wants to get out! You can see from the start she is wanting to dance and sing. She is just such a great character. Little Voice was my first proper acting really, my first West End show. Since then it has just got more and more exciting. Before I auditioned for X Factor, I was going to apply to drama school. I just wanted to leave school. I wanted to act. I wanted to perform. I was just getting quite frustrated at school. I had the bug inside me. I just wanted to get to stage school.”
In fact, it was The X Factor itself that provided the best possible stage schooling.
“I learnt such a lot on The X Factor. I was so young, but you work with the biggest names in the business and you get to perform in front of millions of people and you are getting the best singing coaches. I got so much from it. It was great exposure. If it wasn’t for The X Factor, I don’t think I would have got Little Voice.”
But Diana’s greatest achievement is that she has sustained the success in an era in which so many X Factor finalists go on to disappear without trace: “I think it has been quite good that I have stepped away from the music. I had my two albums and I have had different things. I have been through highs and lows, and I have worked really hard. I don’t know what it is, but maybe it was good timing as well. At the time, The X Factor was all quite new and fresh.” As for a return to the recording side of music: “Never say never. I was in LA quite recently, and I was feeling quite inspired. I thought maybe I should get writing again.”
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