Rhydian Roberts has grown used to playing the bad guy but his next role could be one of the baddest yet.

The 33-year-old shot to fame on the X Factor nearly a decade ago, where he portrayed as a pantomime villain, and has since gone on to forge a successful solo career alongside a formidable stage career which has seen him be Pontius Pilot in Jesus Christ Superstar and Khashoggi in We Will Rock You.

Now he is set to play the sadistic, laughing gas-addicted dentist and abusive boyfriend of Audrey in the comedy rock musical Little Shop of Horrors, which comes to New Wimbledon Theatre from August 22 to 27.

Speaking from the rehearsal room, Rhydian told us he was initially asked to play the lead, a hapless shop worker called Seymour who keeps a giant man-eating plant named Audrey II after the object of his affections.

But both Rhydian and the producers agreed he was more suited to the dentist.

He said: “I generally play bad guy. They are usually much more interesting characters, and this is an interesting character because I don’t want to play a caricature but he has got to be more business-like when he is speaking to Seymour, then he flips on his wife and he goes completely schiz in his dental practice. 

“He has also got to have the demeanour of a man about town in his leather jacket. There are certainly layers in this character.”

Little Shop of Horrors has been a cult favourite of audiences ever since it debuted off Broadway in 1982 and went on to win bundles of awards and was made into an equally cult movie in 1986 starring Rick Moranis, directed by puppet legend Frank Oz.

This latest version has been given a totally fresh look.

Rhydian told us: “This is a completely new production so we are not rehashing anything.

“I can look at the plant here, it is half built and it is massive. 

“We have got new sets, new props, the music has been redone so what people can expect is a production of Little Shop of Horrors that has never been seen before. 

“Expect a great cast – we have got such a strong team and a great director, Tara [Wilkinson], who has just been directing Motown in the West End.”

Rhydian added: “It is exciting, it’s thrilling, it’s gory, it’s funny and it is a great company.”

Little Shop of Horrors is at New Wimbledon Theatre from August 22 to 27. Go to atgtickets.com/Wimbledon

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