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The Rocky Horror Show: Still A Naughty Delight After 50 Years

The ultimate in cult musicals returned to the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre last night as it continues on its 50th year celebratory tour. Yes I can only be talking about the ‘astounding’ Richard O’ Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, a musical like no other, with an audience who heckle virtually every word and enjoy every single mucky minute. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s a shock to the system, one that leaves you laughing out loud and gasping with shock. In short, It’s a hoot!

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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 crew 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.

Richard Meek and Haley Flaherty play Brad and Janet beautifully, almost as if they have  emerged direct from the 1950s, all apple pie and ‘hi honey I’m home’. Flaherty is a brilliant American sweetheart, she is just perfectly cast for the wide eyed, innocent Janet who quickly becomes corrupted by Frank, whilst Meek is a perfect, straight laced, straight faced Brad, losing his morals along with his trousers.

Stephen Webb, who I admired so much in Jersey Boys, is absolutely my favourite 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 and side eyes are mesmerising. Webb is ably supported by Suzie McAdam as the slinky Magenta, permanently in a state of sexual tension, Darcy Finden as Columbia, a pocket rocket with an incredible high octane vocal performance, and the brilliant Kristian Lavercombe who returns once again as the ultimate, iconic Riff Raff, leading 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 (Ben Westhead – another great performance, and certainly a scene stealing one, especially when he learns to swear) and then another,  eye-catching, scene stealing turn from Joe Allen as Eddie, threaten to set the stage alight with sheer exhilaration performing the brilliant ‘What Ever Happened to Saturday Night’. 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 Philip Franks, who is well up to the ad-libbing challenge and keeps it topical with asides about the current Tory Government and deals with an hilarious jibe about Prince Andrew with aplomb.

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! It is five star fun of the naughtiest kind, and all the better for it.

The Rocky Horror Show

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Until 10th February

Click here for ticket information

 

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4 Comments

  • April J Harris

    Sounds like a brilliant interpretation of this classic show. I’m showing my age here but I remember not being allowed to watch the first Rocky Horror movie because my parents thought I was too young – and when I finally did get to watch it years later I loved it! I haven’t seen it on stage though – that’s definitely on the bucket list!

  • theiaoakes

    The show is hilarious and the cast superb – definitely a bit wild and untamed! Don’t wait, its on tour now – have followed the show for years and always a good party atmosphere. Be prepared for heckles and shout outs – it’s expected, do dress up for the occasion, even if only a little, do join in the Timewarp and you won’t regret it. Life is too short not to wear fishnets.

  • Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)

    Oh this sounds awesome! I’d love to go one day. I don’t live anywhere near this time. It sounds like a fab story! I think I am going to add this to my bucket list! xx

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