“Embracing the freaks”

The current UK tour of Rocky Horror comes to New Theatre Oxford 13th-31st December. The current UK tour of Rocky Horror comes to New Theatre Oxford 13th-31st December.
Paul Cattermole (Eddie/Dr Scott), Philip Franks (Narrator), Georgia May Foote (Columbia), Norman Pace (Narrator) and Charlie Condou (narrator) © Stuart Harrison Photography Paul Cattermole (Eddie/Dr Scott), Philip Franks (Narrator), Georgia May Foote (Columbia), Norman Pace (Narrator) and Charlie Condou (narrator) © Stuart Harrison Photography
Charlie Condou and Georgia May Foote (playing Columbia) at the Rocky Horror Oxford launch at the Randolph Charlie Condou and Georgia May Foote (playing Columbia) at the Rocky Horror Oxford launch at the Randolph
Charlie Condou and Georgia May Foote at the Rocky Horror Oxford launch at the Randolph

Charlie Condou and Georgia May Foote at the Rocky Horror Oxford launch at the Randolph

Sam Bennett sits down with Charlie Condou at the Randolph Hotel, the venue for the Rocky Horror Show Oxford launch, to discuss same sex families, Coronation Street, and feeling different…

“There wasn’t anything for same sex families events wise,” Charlie Condou says of life before he set up Out with the Family, an initiative described as “a series of events aimed at LGBT families and straight allies”. Himself a gay married man with two children, the former Corrie actor continues, “I’m lucky, I live in central London and it’s very diverse and cosmopolitan and all that. But it’s not like that for a lot of gay families and gay parents, some literally are the only gays in the village and it can be very isolating. I wanted to set up Out with the Family because I think it’s great for kids in same sex families to see other children in same sex families, and also for the parents to feel like there’s a bit of a social network for them and a bit of support.”

Prior to OWTF Charlie had a regular column in the Guardian, ‘The three of us’, about his family setup – how he, his partner Cameron Laux, and the children’s mother Catherine Kanter approach parenting as a threesome. Due to his speaking out on the subject, owning a profile, and having his kids before these days where “you can’t move for celebrity gays with children”, he believed he “was probably the right person to set something up.”

With the UK’s legalisation of gay marriage in 2014, it does seem this country has in recent times made decent progress in terms of equality for gay people. “Are there still things that concern you?” I ask the actor.

“There’s always more work you can do,” he responds. “Homophobia is rife across the country and the world. It’s great for me – as I say – living in central London, but there are people that live in the middle of nowhere who are still bullied and there are still gay teenagers committing suicide because they’re not being accepted for who they are. Until that kind of thing stops we’ve got a long way to go.”

The current UK tour of Rocky Horror comes to New Theatre Oxford 13th-31st December.

The current UK tour of Rocky Horror comes to New Theatre Oxford 13th-31st December.

Venturing into the vicinity of soap opera, we discuss the power of television in changing people’s perceptions about gay people. It’s this that made Charlie “really pleased about the Coronation Street role, playing a gay character who turned out to be a bisexual character.” He states, “people may have an issue with gay people at first but when they get used to seeing that person again and again on screen and realise their sexuality is just a small part of them, they get used to it. That’s when things start to change. I think shows like Coronation Street really are ground breaking – they’re political with a small p.”

At the Rocky Horror Oxford launch; Paul Cattermole (Eddie/Dr Scott), Philip Franks (Narrator), Georgia May Foote (Columbia), Norman Pace (Narrator) and Charlie Condou (narrator)

At the Rocky Horror Oxford launch; Paul Cattermole (Eddie/Dr Scott), Philip Franks (Narrator), Georgia May Foote (Columbia), Norman Pace (Narrator) and Charlie Condou (narrator)

Charlie returns to Oxford again this Christmas, as the Narrator in Rocky Horror Show. How does this production speak to those who might feel ostracised by society though? “Rocky Horror is all about being true to yourself,” he says. “It’s about the people that don’t necessarily fit in, the people that don’t feel they are conventional, it’s embracing the freaks I suppose. I think that’s something that everyone can identify with to a degree. All of us feel slightly different and there’s something really lovely about embracing that.”

The current UK tour of Rocky Horror comes to New Theatre Oxford 13th-31st December. Charlie Condou is one of four performers taking on the role of the Narrator during the Oxford run.

atgtickets.com/oxford

Comments are closed.

Rocky Horror Returns to Oxford

Directed by Christopher Luscombe and featuring timeless classics – including ‘Sweet Transvestite’, ‘Damnit Janet’, and of course, the pelvic-thrusting ‘Time […]

LGBT Adoption – “The positives totally outweigh the negatives”

Ian and Jason’s story on adopting through Coram Cambridgeshire Adoption Where it all began… “We had talked about having children […]

The Journey to Acceptance

Life as the director of a Muslim funeral parlour isn’t always easy, but Ayesha has things pretty sorted. She and […]

Andrea Gibson: Hard Truths

The winner of the first ever Women of the World Poetry Slam talks Trump, guns and Christianity with Sam Bennett […]

“Bitch, This Boy Can Sing”

In 2015 Seann Miley Moore moved from Australia to London, in order to take part in The X Factor UK. He walked onstage […]

Policing, Safe Spaces and this Challenging World

Dr Clifford Williams joined the “extremely homophobic” police force in 1987. He recalls his training, which saw the Sexual Offences […]

A Queer Céilí at the Marty Forsythe

Written by Dominic Montague and directed by Paula McFetridge, A Queer Céilí at the Marty Forsythe is an exciting new […]

Matt Cain: Pop, Persecution and Politics

In a week that also saw him meet Michelle Visage after watching her as Miss Hedge in the wonderful musical […]

LGBT History Month

Philip Baldwin, LGBT/HIV activist When I was sitting my GCSEs and A-levels at school, around the turn of the millennium, […]

Our Hidden Histories

2015 marked the tenth anniversary of LGBT History Month in the UK. Playwright in residence for LGBT HM, Stephen M […]