Interview: Ben Richards, star of jukebox stage musical Rock of Ages
'The film is… not brilliant. I don't think they quite got the irony, the comedy element'
Rock of Ages might have been made into a Hollywood film, but the stage version, according to star Ben Richards, is a more playful proposition. 'The film is… not brilliant,' he reluctantly admits. 'I don't think they quite got the irony, the comedy element. The audience are in hysterics, which is why we get the reaction we do, which we are very lucky to get!'
For Richards, playing a 1980s rock god is a trip down memory lane. 'I kind of grew up with the music: we used to listen to big rock tunes,' he remembers. 'And it is amazing how many massive hits are in the show.'
With massive hits and massive hair, Rock of Ages takes a sideways glance at the excesses of the 80s, but rolls out the familiar tunes that made rock dominate the radio in the era of Thatcher and Reagan.
The show also promises old fashioned decadence. 'I am right in the middle of it! I am playing an 80s rock star,' he laughs. 'So you can imagine what I get up to!' However, Richards won't be drawn on whether this reflects his off-stage life. 'Everything I say may be used in evidence against me, so best if I don't answer that question … '
Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon 19–Sat 24 May.