book by Jim Sharman adapted by Tom Crowley lyrics by Richard O’Brien music by Richard Hartley new arrangements and additional composition by Alex Beetschen.

King’s Head Theatre 115 Upper Street Islington N1 1QN to 6 June 2015.
3pm & 7pm 24, 31 May.
9pm 23-25, 28 Apr-2, 5-9 May.
10pm 19-23, 26-30 May, 2-6 June.
23.59pm 24, 25 Apr, 1, 2, 8, 9 May.

TICKETS: 020 7226 4443.
Review: William Russell 21 April.

Electrifying return of Brad and Janet.
This pair are, of course, hero and heroine of the great Rocky Horror Show, back in what is billed as not a sequel or a prequel but its equal. Well it is not. Based on the 1981 movie Shock Treatment, which used some of the characters from The Rocky Horror Show, and deservedly flopped, this stage treatment ditches most of the plot.

Whereas The Rocky Horror Show sent up with wit and precision all those young couples whose car breaks down so they end-up in a house of horror B movie, Shock Treatment looked at reality television somewhat before its time, and made little sense.

The show has in its favour is a terrific collection of songs played by a splendid band under musical director Alex Beetschen, and a first-rate cast. Brad and Janet’s marriage is in trouble, they go on a TV show about failing marriages, he is taken by a couple of con-artist doctors to an asylum for shock treatment, she is pursued by a monster TV breakfast food magnate, Farley Favours, to lead his attempt at world domination.

Tom Crowley’s adaptation of the original screenplay makes no sense. But Julie Atherton is a delight as the staid Janet discovering her inner floozie and the joys of a little black dress; Mateo Oxley camps it up superbly as the show’s host, who makes Narcissus look like a shrinking violet, while Adam Rhys-Davies and Nic Lamont are hilariously grotesque as the fake doctors who give the shock treatments. As for Brad, Ben Kerr may have to spend a lot of the time in a coma, but at the end he proves a real Brad, and has the Y fronts to prove it.

The show is bursting with energy, the songs almost as good as those from The Rocky Horror Show, while the cast could not be bettered, although Mark Little as Farley Flavours – no Frank N Furter he – lumbered with a nothing role, can do nothing with it. Yet, Shock Treatment could draw the town, if only for the curtain-call when the little black dress comes into its own.

Janet Majors: Julie Atherton.
Betty Hapschatt: Rosanne Hyland.
Brad Majors: Ben Kerr.
Nation McKinley: Nic Lamont.
Farley Flavours: Mark Little.
Ralph Hapschatt: Mateo Oxley.
Cosmo McKinley: Adam Rhys-Davies.

Director: Benji Sperring.
Designer: Tim Shortall.
Lighting: Nic Farman.
Sound: Chris Drohan.
Musical Director: Alex Beetschen.
Choreographer: Lucie Pankhurst.
Costume: Xylona Appleton.

2015-04-22 02:19:14

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