The Rocky Horror Show

at Milton Keynes Theatre and touring

 

Since its first performance at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1973, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show has built up a worldwide fan base covering more than one generation. The show now fits perfectly into our LGBT world, but it still has its surprises for someone like myself who (believe it or not) had actually never seen the show before. The house was in exuberant mood from the start, giving audience participation an entirely new meaning as they knew the script by heart, and interrupted with embellishments of their own. At one point early on the entire front stalls stood up to join in the iconic dance routine, Time Warp (there’s a page in the programme explaining the steps just in case anyone wasn’t already familiar with them). There were quite a few fishnets and basques in the audience, too. This has its advantages when on tour; says director Christopher Luscombe: “If you arrive in a strange town where you don’t know the location of the theatre where Rocky is playing, all you have to do is look for the people in basques and fishnet tights and follow them to the venue.”

 

Young innocents Janet and Brad, who lose their way on the road and find themselves in a den of iniquity, are played by Diana Vickers and Richard Meek, reacting to the cross dressing and transgender antics as they would in the 1970s. Norman Pace is terrific as the Narrator, dealing with  the audience’s interruptions with some great comments of his own. Above all Liam Tamne is magnificent as the joyous Frank-N-Furter, leading everyone astray and dominating the action on stage with a stellar performance.

 

I went to the show with an open mind, but came out having had one of the most enjoyable evenings in the theatre for a long time, and that’s saying something. Jean Rush

 

The Rocky Horror Show is touring as follows: Milton Keynes Theatre July 25-30; Kings Theatre Glasgow August 8-13; New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham October 10-15; Liverpool Empire 17-22; Manchester Opera House 24-29; Sunderland Empire November 7-12; New Theatre Oxford December 13-31.