Duncan James on dressing drag and taking on the role of a lifetime in the Rocky Horror Show

Former singer Duncan James is currently starring as Dr Frank’n’furter for the stage production of The Rocky Horror Show. We had a chat with him about his raunchiest role yet and what’s in store for eager fans 

The Rocky Horror Show
Duncan James as Dr Frank N Furter. Credit : Johan Persson

Duncan James (of boyband Blue fame) is the latest man to succumb to the fascination of suspenders, fishnets and heels as he takes to the stage in one of his most iconic roles yet. He’s currently starring as crazed scientist Dr Frank’n’furter dressed head to toe in drag in Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show.   

“Thanks Ru Paul,” says James, who, incidentally, says he’s now obsessed with Ru Paul’s Drag Race, “he’s really carved the way forward for men to feel liberated dressing up as a woman and I think it’s wonderful, and I completely get it. I feel so liberated being on stage every night as Frank’n’furter and I just completely embrace it.

“Frank has been my favourite role to date, I’ve absolutely loved this more than I’ve loved any other role I’ve done. It’s just been wonderful and I’ve just really enjoyed it. And it was a role that I’ve always wanted to do.”

The Rocky Horror Show was originally written by Richard O’Brien in the early 70s, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the hugely popular film adaptation in 1975 starring Tim Curry as Frank’n’furter and Susan Sarandon as Janet, and ever since it has become an institution for fans, picking up a massive cult following along the way. And Richard O’Brien’s rock ‘n’ roll musical adaptation is no different having been seen by over 30 million theatregoers.

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Contd below…

The Rocky Horror Show
The Rocky Horror Show ©The Other Richard

The story is bizarre to say the least and if you are not fully au fait with the plot, a fair bit of warning might be advised!  In brief, it’s about a young, sweet and innocent couple called Brad and Janet who find themselves mixed up in the madness of Dr Frank’n’furter as he carries out one of his maniacal experiments.

Duncan is starring alongside Joanne Clifton at 14 UK theatres during the tour, and he’ll be on stage at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent this June.

“It’s a bit of a crazy show…” he explains. “It’s literally just the maddest story, but it has the best musical score. It is just bonkers, but so much fun.

“I think it’s just one of those shows – it’s timeless. This is a film that was so iconic and band in so many countries because of its raunchiness, but yet it’s had such a huge cult following. This is a film that was played in cinemas every single day where people would turn up to watch all round the world. It’s huge.

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“The stage version is just incredible. The music is great, it’s live, it’s just wonderful and the audience dress up, they participate in it, they know the script, they shout out, they join in, and there’s no other show like it where you can have that interaction.

“And of course everybody knows the time warp which is from the Rocky Horror Show. Everybody is up on their feet dancing to the time warp and getting involved with the show which is wonderful to see. It’s just been a great experience and i’m loving every second of it.”

See Duncan James in The Rocky Horror Show at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent from Monday June 3 until Saturday June 8. Grab tickets online, from the Regent Theatre Box Office ,or by calling 0844 871 7649.

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