The ultimate in cult musicals ‘came’ to Wolverhampton last night, bringing its unique brand of wicked naughtiness to the Grand Theatre. Richard O’ Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is a musical like no other, with an audience who heckle virtually every word, jump to its feet midway through to do ‘The Timewarp’ all the time enjoying every single mucky minute. As a Rocky Horror Virgin, I donned my fishnets and push up bra to see what all the fuss was about…and have to admit, I’m converted totally to its charms. It’s a hoot.
Based on those late night double features that played at cinema’s during the 1950s, The Rocky Horror Show is a pastiche on B Movies of the Science Fiction and horror variety. Squeaky Clean, All American couple Brad and Janet break down in the middle of nowhere on their way home from a wedding. They walk to the nearest property, which just happens to be a rather sinister castle housed by a strange motley crue that includes Riff-Raff, a butler/manservant, Magenta and Columbia. They just want to use the telephone, but when the head of the house, the tale, suspender and stocking clad Frank-N-Furter, makes an appearance, they are destined to be taken on a journey of sexual decadence from which they will never recover.
Diane Vickers and Richard Meek play Brad and Janet beautifully, almost as if they have emerged direct from the 1950s, all apple pie and ‘hi honey I’m home’. Vickers powerful singing voice is totally changed into a brilliant American sweetheart style, she is just perfectly cast for the wide eyed, innocent Janet.
Liam Tamne is a stunning Frank-N-Furter, totally vamping it up as the sweet transvestite from Transexual Transylvania. When he is on the stage your eyes are on him, his lithe movement and knowing vocals are mesmorising. Tamne is ably supported by Kay Murphy as the slinky Magenta, permanently in a state of sexual tension, Sophie Linder-Lee as Columbia, a pocket rocket with an incredible high octane vocal performance, and the brilliant Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff, who leads the cast in the superb classic, ‘The Timewarp’.
The Timewarp is a definite highlight, with the audience jumping to its feet, but there are plenty of other scenes to enjoy. The scenes of Brad and Janet in bed with Frank-N-Furter are super funny and rude and caused much hilarity amongst the audience. The unveiling of Rocky (Dominic Anderson – definitely one to watch, especially in leopard print underpants) and the eye-catching, scene stealing turn of Paul Cattermole as Eddie, threaten to set the stage alight with sheer exhilaration. And the audience itself become another star of the show, as they constantly join in, heckle and finish the sentences of the narrator, the brilliant Norman Pace, who is well up to the ad-libbing challenge.
Brash, vulgar and naughty, all in the worst possible taste and all the better for it, The Rocky Horror Show is something you should add to the bucket list and see at least once in your life!
The Rocky Horror Show at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 18th June. Click here for ticket information and show times.