No stranger to the small screen, television’s Kevin Kennedy has left the cobbles of Coronation Street far behind him as he takes to the stage and embraces his inner rock’n’roll star in the UK Tour of Rock of Ages, which comes to Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre from November 26 to December 1.
“It’s incredible to be able to put your two passions together – one being of course acting and
the spoken word, and the other being music, which is something I’ve loved throughout my life,” said Kevin.
“To put those together is a perfect marriage, and in a vehicle such as Rock of Ages it is a whole lot of fun as well.”
Set in Los Angeles in the mid 1980s, Rock of Ages tells the story of a rock club called The Bourbon Room, where every legendary band ever has played.
“It’s an icon of rock’n’roll and absolutely the place to be,” explained Kevin.
“But the local council are attempting to close it down so we are fighting them. Alongside all of that there’s a beautiful love story, lots and lots of jokes and of course some of the most incredible music from the 80’s, like ‘Here I Go Again,’ ‘The Final Countdown,’ and ‘I Want To Know What Love Is.’
“I play Dennis, the owner of The Bourbon Room, who’s he’s an absolute rock guru. He’s given all these now legendary bands their start and he’s been in bands himself. He’s also embraced the drug culture and intense sexuality of the 1980s with much enthusiasm and regularity!
“He’s a very interesting man to play – he’s got a good heart at his core but he’s a child of his culture and loves his sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, so he’s a lot of fun to play.”
Kevin, who is known to many as ‘Curly Watts,’ revealed that TV and theatre are totally different experiences.
“You may put something in the can after filming and not get the payback of that for months or event years. You can almost film it, and then forget about it. With theatre however, it’s obviously live and live theatre is one of the last true shared experiences you can have.
“In the theatre you are all together and sharing one experience which is happening live, right in front of you and there’s not a lot of that left. That in itself generates its own energy and excitement as no two shows are the same. The show that you come and see will never been exactly the same as that ever again which is quite an exciting thought.”
And Kevin, who revealed his Playstation is his must-have item on tour, admits the music was a big part of the draw of the part.
“Rock of Ages boasts some of the biggest hits of the 1980s as its soundtrack. I was a young-ish man in the 1980s and not a huge fan of some dance music, so the last refuge of guitar music to a certain extent was that brilliant American glam-rock that we showcase in Rock of Ages. They play their own instruments and perform live on stage so I had a huge respect for that.
“The show requires a lot of energy, however, once it gets going it’s so much fun and no longer feels like work. Once you’ve done the hard work of learning the lines and where to stand we’ve been allowed to just have so much fun with it. Audiences are absolutely loving it because it’s just bonkers. The entire finale is my favourite as it is just one big fat rock’n’roll number.”