Classical crossover music star Rhydian Robert is having a whale of a time playing a sadistic dentist on stage in show that’s heading to Sheffield.
Rhydian, who shot to fame nationally after appearing on The X Factor in 2007, is Orin Scrivello in cult classic musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
It’s a loving tribute to 1950s science fiction B movies, featuring a huge alien carnivorous plant called Audrey who terrorises a down-at-heel suburb.
Rhydian said: “There are correlations between the show and Rocky Horror, that I was in for quite a period. They’re both sci-fi, space B movie-esque. This show just takes the biscuit with its combination of book and music. It’s just wonderful.”
He said: “I play a sado-masochistic, nitrous-oxide-inhaling, wife-beating dentist. It’s quite a pleasure to be playing such a fun role. It’s just a great show and a nice length of time to be touring.”
Rhydian has a soft spot for Orin. “I have to like him as a character. I can’t hate him because you’ve got to believe that you are him, although he’s insecure, that’s for sure, and obviously unhinged.
“He does like himself in a lot of ways. He portrays this kind of slick hard man image that’s got an air of arrogance.”
Spoiler alert: Orin gets his comeuppance at the end of the first half, choking to death inside a mask, and Rhydian says that’s pretty uncomfortable.
“For 10 to 11 minutes I can’t breathe very well, I can’t hear anything around me and I can’t hear the music. It’s quite a challenge.”
Although Rhydian fans might be disappointed, he’s actually on stage a lot, playing five other small roles, including a tramp, a cowboy, a woman and a business representative.
He said: “I have nine costume changes. It’s very involved and two hours pass very quickly!”
The finale features a song that’s never been performed on stage before, although it is in the 1986 film starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Like many other musicals, the audience are encouraged to get up and dance at the end.
Rhydian said: “I’m looking forward to coming to Sheffield. The further north you go, the better the audience.”
Next year Rhydian is recording two new albums and doing a 27-date tour, as well as making a series for Welsh TV. He’s also in pantomime.
Little Shop of Horrors is at the Lyceum next Monday to Saturday. Box office: 0114 2496000 or online at Sheffield Theatres