GIVEN that his CV includes roles in some of the most popular stage musicals including Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, Guys and Dolls and Joseph it comes as a bit of a surprise when Stephen Webb reveals that it his current role which is his all-time favourite.

Stephen is starring as the flamboyant, stocking-wearing Frank-N-Furter in the cult classic the Rocky Horror Show currently enjoying its 50th anniversary tour around the UK.

The show will be heading to Blackpool and Manchester next month and Stephen can’t wait for the reaction he knows it’s going to get from North West audiences.

“I’ve been in this industry for 20 years and I keep coming back to this show,” he said. “This is my third year as Frank-N-Furter and it’s got to be the highlight of my career. I absolutely love it.

Lancashire Telegraph: Stephen Webb in The Rocky Horror Show and (left) the show’s creator Richard O’Brien

“It’s not just the show, it’s the people that come and see it. I’ve met some of the nicest people travelling around the country doing it and I’m always learning from Frank.”

Created by Richard O’Brien, Rocky Horror Show first captured the imagination as a film starring Tim Curry in the Frank-N-Furter role. As a stage show it has developed a life of its own and arguably has the most devoted fan base of any modern musical.

“It is a phenomenon,” said Stephen, “and I think the reason for that is that the audience are very much part of the show. It is famous for the audience shout-outs, something which I don’t think any other show allows, and people dress up as their favourite characters. For us every show is totally different as you never know what the audience are going to say.”

For anyone not aware of the storyline, Rocky Horror is based around a young couple Brad and Janet who break down in the middle of nowhere and seek shelter from a storm at the home of Frank-N-Furter and his oddball collection of servants, friends and acolytes. Oh and Frank-N-Furter is actually an alien from another planet.

“We have people who just keep coming back to the show wherever we are playing around the country,” said Stephen. “But also it doesn’t matter if you have never seen it before. We’ve had Rocky Horror Show virgins come away saying ‘we have no idea what we have just seen but we loved it and we’re coming back’.

“To anyone who isn’t sure about coming along I’d say you don’t have to dress up but I guarantee you’ll have a good time. You’ll be laughing, be crying and you might actually meet a few friends as a result too.”

In spite of being 50 years old, Stephen believes that the show is perhaps more relevant today than when it was first staged.

“What Richard O’Brien created makes the show so current in today’s climate; it is a very modern show,” he said. “A lot of people have come back afterwards and told me that the show has allowed them to have the confidence to come out or to transition. And for everyone, for a couple of hours you are in a safe space among friends.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Get set to get naughty! Picture: David Freeman

Iconic is a much overused word but it certainly applies to Tim Curry’s original performance as Frank and Stephen admits that following in such exalted heels was a challenge.

“To be honest when I auditioned for Frank I didn’t think I’d get it,” he said. “They gave me the song Sweet Transvestite from the show to sing so I put on some tights, put on some heels and basically stripped off. I flirted with the panel and it must have done the trick because I got the part.

“It was only then that it hit me that I’d have to go out on stage as Frank. My first thoughts were ‘what if they don’t like me?’ After all it’s a show where the audience will definitely let you know what they think.

“And I’d never worn a wig before, I’d never really got my body out but thankfully I seem to be quite a natural when it comes to heels.

“I wore them all the time during the rehearsal process to make walking in them look as natural as possible.”

Frank-N-Furter has to be charismatic and Stephen spent time developing his look.

“Frank has to be attractive to all sexes,” he said, “I approach him as someone who loves what he loves and also you have to bear in mind he is an alien from another planet.”

Director Christopher Luscombe told Stephen when he first got the part that he didn’t want him to try and do a Tim Curry impression but create his own version of Frank-N-Furter.

“That was incredibly generous and helped me enormously,” he said. “As the show is set in the Seventies I turned to Marc Bolan and David Bowie for inspiration when it came to the make-up so it’s a bit glam rock. I see myself as a little bit of a ‘rough around the edges’ Frank but people seem to love it and that’s why I keep coming back.”

Rocky Horror Show will be touring until October having already played to sold out audiences in Italy and Tel Aviv.

“That was incredible,” said Stephen. “We didn’t know what to expect but the audiences were amazing. They even had their own shout-outs which was fun.”

The only downside of being part of a major tour is all the travelling. Last year Stephen got engaged to Danielle Steers who is currently starring in the Cher Show which is also touring.

“We make a point of always coming home when it is our day off and spending time together,” he said. “It can be hard touring but we’ve both been in the game a long time and actually it makes the relationship stronger because you look forward to seeing that person on the weekend.”

Stephen is also particularly looking forward to coming to Manchester.

“The show opened in Manchester when I was in it the first time and the audiences there are amazing. It’s always a big deal to take a show there.”

The Rocky Horror Show, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, February 13 to 18 and Manchester Opera House, February 20 to 25. Details from