Review: The Rocky Horror Show ★★★★

By Peter May

This well loved sci-fi parody opened way back in 1973 and been performed countless times around the world. Audiences today are more immune to the racy natures of the show as gender fluidity and cross-dressing are more commonplace than quirky. Audience participation, whether in theatres and cinemas, has of course played a part in making it a long-runner. Blokes need little excuse, it transpires, to slap some lippy on, or don suspenders and a brassier. It’s nigh on impossible not to get on your feet and act like a creature possessed when The Time Warp strikes up.

The plot is paper-thin which begins with newly engaged couple Brad (Ben Adams) and Janet (Joana Clifton) stumble across a spooky castle when their car breaks down. It is here where they find themselves in the lab of Frank N Furter – a Transylvanian Transvestite (Stephen Webb). Webb is excellent in his role strutting around the stage with enormous confidence in his fishnet stockings.

The narrator throughout the show is none other than Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly who responds well to the audience shouts outs with quick fire wit. Trigger Happy TV musical anyone? The set isn’t the most elaborate with one-dimensional cars and flimsy material backdrops, but once we hit the lab it gets better. For a touring show this is to be expected I suppose.

The songs and dance numbers are great fun with a live band perched above the stage. After over 40 years, the Rocky Horror Show has suffered little more than a ladder in its tights, and is still a licence to ‘strip away’ the mundanity of everyday life and slide into something a bit more comfortable.

Until Sat at New Wimbledon Theatre  (tickets: 0844 871 7646), then touring.


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