This legendary Rock n Roll musical is on a world tour and so it is designed to be a movable feast. The set is functional, although I must say the shimmering metallic curtain is beautiful; the costumes less than spectacular and there is an air of trying but not totally succeeding, I suspect an opening night situation where there are logistical problems to overcome. You can’t spoil this iconic show written by Richard O’Brien 48 years ago and because he once starred as Riff Raff the bar is constantly set high.
The storyline is well known to those who delight in this fantasy and they were in the audience on Monday night singing along, joining in the actions for the Time Warp and shouting out insults to the cast - although this is what’s expected and it can be very funny. When Brad (Ore Oduba) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) get trapped in Frank N Furter’s castle and the nightmare begins in his laboratory where he fashions new young handsome muscular men and brings them to life, Brad asks his girlfriend ‘What sort of weird place is this?’ quick as a flash the response from a member of the audience rang out, ‘Stormont’.
You have to be broadminded to enjoy this musical, it’s very racy, suggestive and vulgar but that’s the beauty of it, take it in the lighthearted way it’s offered and you’ll enjoy it. The bedroom scene is probably the funniest and most eye popping, it’s slick and well done and the gales of laughter in the auditorium proved that.
Frank played by Stephen Webb is a transsexual and favours a black basque, tight fitting black silk underpants and fishnet stockings complete with suspenders. His side kick Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) is his usual sinister self with a penetrating voice and menacing walk. Black is the undercurrent to Rocky Horror, humour and costume except when the two lovers are stripped of their clothes and spend most of the show in their underwear. When their car breaks down on a country road in a thunderstorm all they want is to find a phone and get help - what they get is a lot more than that.
What started off as a great rapport with the audience, especially for those few who dressed up as cast characters, the heckling died away and was intermittent but we came to life at the end, up on our feet for the final blast of the Timewarp jumping to the left and the right, arms in the air and applauding the actors, the excellent band and the stage crew.
A good night out and now the opening night is over I suspect the show will go from good to great.
Review by Anne Hailes
ROCKY HORROR SHOW
Grand Opera House
Until Saturday 26th March 2022
More at http://www.goh.co.uk