Strictly champion Joanne Clifton hits the Southampton stage in the Rocky Horror Show

Ben Adams (Brad), Joanne Clifton (Janet)
Ben Adams (Brad), Joanne Clifton (Janet)

Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton came to The Rocky Horror Show off the back of a long stint in Flashdance.

On the face of it, you couldn’t imagine two more contrasting musicals.

“But actually, I thought with this one I was going to get away from being on the stage in my bra and knickers…. And now I am back on stage in my bra and knickers again! But with The Rocky Horror Show I do at least start off all prim and proper!”

Joanne is Janet in the show at Southampton’s Mayflower from April 8-13 – Joanne’s third musical since going out of Strictly on a high as champion. After that, she went straight into Thoroughly Modern Millie.

“I think I made the right decision. I came back to do Strictly but my goal was always to do musical theatre. I got the job on Strictly and I thought I would do two or three years. I had been training in singing and acting and some doing fringe shows as well, and then luckily we were able to win in my third year, and I thought that was my time. I went off and did Thoroughly Modern Millie straight away. It was always the dream for me. But I hadn’t done any proper training, so I had a lot of catching up to do!”

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor.

It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.

“I had never seen the show before and had never seen the film,” Joanne admits. “But when I was talking to people who had done it, they were all saying how fantastic it was, so I did the audition and I was really, really wanting to do it. I really wanted it!”

And now here she is, loving it in a show which she labels – for Brighton at least – a great alternative to panto. “I am told that the audience all dress up,” she says, still in the thick of rehearsals. “I am told that they all come along and join in and it is such great fun. I have never done panto. I don’t know that I won’t ever do it, but this is going to be such great fun!

“As Janet, I start off all prim and proper. She loves the American dream. She just wants to marry Brad. She wants to be a lovely little housewife and live the American dream… but then she gets led astray and turns into this very animalistic woman. It is going to be great!”

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