The Rocky Horror Show is both a stage show and film which began its life in theatres in 1973 before it was made into a movie in 1975. It quickly became a cult classic, after its initial poor reception at the box office and has continued to have a loyal following ever since.
The production is a satire of the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s- to the 1970s.
It tells the tale of Brad and Janet, a young, newly engaged couple who break down near a castle. They decide to knock on its door to ask for help only to be greeted by some strangers in outrageous costumes who have gathered for an annual conference.
They eventually meet the head of house- Frank-N-Furter- a mad scientist who is also an alien transvestite. He eagerly introduces them to his newest creation- a living muscle man- Rocky Horror. The couple are seduced individually by the scientist and are then released by his servants who eventually take control.
When you arrive at the theatre and most of the audience are dressed in maid's costumes, sequined blazers and top hats or suspenders, you know that you're in for an unusual night.
I don't think I have ever been to a theatre performance that has generated so much excitement and interaction from the audience before. Clearly the show still has many devoted fans who know the script inside out- so much so they can sing along and quote the iconic lines.
Normally such interruptions would spoil a performance but this is the only production where heckling and audience participation actually work and are welcomed.
As the storyline is so erratic- this production relies heavily on the strength of the cast and thankfully the actors were spot on.
Diana Vickers has really come into her own and seems very comfortable on stage. Her voice has taken on a new strength and maturity since we first saw her in 2008 on The X Factor.
Ben Freeman of Emmerdale fame was perfect as the awkward and nervous Brad. Together Vickers and Freeman were very convincing as we witnessed their sexual awakening- a stark contrast from their prudish and cautious roots we witnessed in the earlier scenes.
Liam Tamne took on the central role of Fran-N-Furter and embraced it with every fibre of his being. He oozed confidence and sex appeal as he strutted around the stage in his suspenders and heels- the perfect choice for this part.
The role of narrator was left in the capable hands of Steve Punt and who better to narrate than a comedian? As this show welcomes audience participation with open arms- it seems only fitting that someone who is used to heckling and interruptions would play this part. He handled the shout outs expertly and continued with his lines- nothing was going to faze this guy.
The Rocky Horror Show is a little bit like marmite- you will either love it or hate it but you have to see it first to make up your own mind.
It is certainly one for adults as the language and content are very near the knuckle and the audience don't hold back either.
If nothing else go and see it for the reaction of the viewers when the Time Warp strikes up. I have never seen an audience be so committed to and supportive of a performance before and the actors appeared to enjoy every minute of it.
Tagged in Liverpool Empire Theatre