Listen again: 5 May 2015

Adam Rhys-Davies and Julie Atherton in Shock Treatment Photo: Peter Langdown

Adam Rhys-Davies and Julie Atherton in the musical Shock Treatment
Photo: Peter Langdown

Rosie meets Benji Sperring who is directing the world stage premiere of Richard O’Brien’s sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment. He talks about the characters they had to cut in order to focus the story, notably Bert Schnick originally played by Barry Humphries, whilst also wanting to keep fans happy. Described as a ‘mad little triumph’ by Time Out, you can catch the production at Islington’s King’s Head Theatre until 6 June.

Author and comedian VG Lee reveals what she has in store for her performance at Rosie’s annual cabaret event, Femmes by the Thames, which takes place on 13 May on Battersea Barge. Val has been busy on tour with Paul Burston’s Polari literary salon in recent months whilst working on her fifth novel to follow up the Stonewall Writer of the Year nominated Always You, Edina. In typical witty fashion, she muses on getting grumpier as she gets older and tells us about her friends and neighbours who appear as regular characters in her column for The Lady magazine.

Multi-talented Abigail Tarttelin appeared on the show in late 2013 to discuss her novel Golden Boy. She tells us about her feminist band Girlboy, a collaboration with singer-songwriter and friend Michael Reeve, and we hear their single Jennifer Lawrence. The pair bonded at school when they both felt like odd ones out. Abigail has been sending Michael lyrics ever since and both of them enjoy an alternative creative outlet. Abigail’s debut novel Flick is about to be relaunched.

Closer to Heaven, the musical written by Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys, is enjoying a first ever London revival at Union Theatre from now until 23 May. The original production premiered at the Arts Theatre in 2001 and featured the story of Dave, who arrives in Soho from Ireland and quickly becomes part of an unconventional family. Actor and culture critic Denholm Spurr attended press night yet didn’t feel his expectations were met and that the script could have done with a few rewrites.

For rights reasons the music is not on the podcast, but here’s what we played on the live show:

1) Soak: Sea Creatures from the album Before We Forgot How to Dream

2) Cliff De Young, Patricia Quinn: Shock Treatment from the soundtrack of Shock Treatment

3) Girlboy: Jennifer Lawrence

4) Paul Keating, Tom Walker: Closer to Heaven from the original cast recording of Closer to Heaven

5) Annabelle Chvostek: This Night from the album Be the Media

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