THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
by Richard O’Brien.
Tour to 2 November 2013.
Runs 2hr One interval.
Review: William Russell 7 May.
It is 40 years since this splendid rock musical opened at the Royal Court’s small Theatre Upstairs, moved to a couple of cinemas on the King’s Road and then into musical history with endless touring versions here, there and everywhere.
This 40th anniversary tour directed by Christopher Luscombe, who has been in charge of the productions for the last six years, is loud, brash, and rather coarse but it also sent the opening night audience in Richmond into a frenzy of delight as they danced the Time Warp in the stalls, in the Circle and, for all I know, higher up, along with the cast.
Oliver Thornton is a splendidly androgynous Frank-N-Furter and Philip Franks has a wonderful time as the Narrator, briskly coping with interruptions from the audience, which seemed to consist of people in fancy dress who had seen it so often they could recite the script and pre-empt the jokes.
The problem with the production is this is a “brand” show and Luscombe really cannot do more than tinker with it, otherwise fans get upset. What it needs is a root and branch fresh look. The cast are competent, but miss the essential thing which is that it is a send-up of second feature horror science fiction movies. They simply do not play it as if they were B movie stars.
The plot is simple – Brad and Janet, a newly engaged couple, are stranded when their car runs out of gas in a rainstorm, so they go to the nearest Gothic chateau for help, only to discover it is home to mad, basque-wearing, transsexual scientist Frank-N-Furter who has created his ideal man, Rocky, and is up to no good.
Both Brad and Janet succumb to Frank-N-Furter’s charms and a bad time is had by all involving aliens, ghouls, and predatory handmaidens. Harry Neale cuts a splendid figure of a man as Rocky – Frankenstein made nothing so gorgeous – but Kristian Lavercombe is no substitute for O’Brien as Riff Raff and the sound designer needs to get the balance right because it is impossible to make out the lyrics and they are very good lyrics, part of the joke.
Usherette: Abigail Jaye.
Janet: Roxanne Pallett.
Brad: Sam Attwater.
Narrator: Philip Franks.
Riff Raff: Kristian Lavercombe.
Magenta: Abigail Jaye.
Columbia: Ceris Hine.
Frank-N-Furter: Oliver Thornton.
Rocky: Harry Neale.
Eddie: Joel Montague.
Dr Scott: Joel Motague.
Phantoms: Maria Coyne, Christos Dante, David Gale, Rachel Grundy.
Director: Christopher Luscombe.
Designer: Hugh Durrant.
Lighting: Nick Richings.
Sound: Gareth Owen.
Musical Director: Tony Castro.
Choreographer: Nathan M Wright.
Costume: Sue Blane.
7-11 May Tue-Thu 8pm Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7627 www.atgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre
13-18 May Mon-Thu 8pm Fri 5.30pm & 8.30pm; Sat 5pm & 8.30pm Mayflower Theatre Southampton 023 8071 1811 www.mayflower.org.uk
20-25 May Mon-Thu 8pm Fri, Say 5.30pm & 8.30pm Regent Theatre Stoke on Trent 0844 871 7125 www.atgtickets.com/venues/regent-theatre
27 May-1 June Mon-Thyu 8pm Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Churchill Theatre Bromley 0844 871 7620 www.atgtickets.com/venues/the-churchill-theatre-bromley
3-8 June Mon-Thu 8pm Fri Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Norwich Royal Theatre 01603 630000 www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
10-15 June Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5pm & 8pm Grand Theatre Leeds 0844 848 2700 www.leedsgrandtheatre.com
17-22 June Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Palace Theatre Manchester 0161 245 6600 www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester
24-29 June Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm New Victoria Theatre Woking 0844 871 7645 www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre
1-6 July Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Fairfield Halls Croydon 020 8688 9291 www.fairfield.co.uk
8-13 July Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm New Theatre Cardiff 029 2087 8889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
15-20 July Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Audio-described Thu, Captioned Wed Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 871 7652 www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre
22-27 July Derby Civic Theatre
6-10 Aug Tue;Thu 8pm Wed, Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm King’s Theatre Glasgow 0844 871 7627 www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre
12-17 Aug Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Marlowe Theatre Canterbury 01227 787787 www.marlowetheatre.com
19-24 Aug Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Bristol Hippodrome 0844 871 3012 www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome
27-31 Aug Tue-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.60pm & 8.30pm New Theatre Oxford 0844 871 3020 www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-theatre-oxford
2-7 Sept Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Millennium Forum Derry 028 7126 4455 www.millenniumforum.co.uk
9-14 Sept Mon-Thu 7.30pm Fri;Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm His Majesty’s Aberdeen 0845 270 8200 www.boxofficeaberdeen.com/venues/his-majestys-theatre
16-21 Sept Mon-Thun 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5pm & 8.30pm Alhambra Theatre Bradford 01274 432000 www.bradford-theatres.co.uk/alhambra
23-28 Sept Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Theatre Royal Nottingham 0115 989 5555 www.trch.co.uk
30 Sept-5 Oct Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm New Theatre Hull 01482 300300 www.hullcc.gov.uk/hullnewtheatre
14-19 Oct Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5pm & 8.30pm Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000 www.bic.co.uk
21-26 Oct Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline 01383 740384 www.alhambradunfermline.com
28 Oct-2 Nov Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 01902 429212 www.grandtheatre.biz