I have fond memories of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Even though i’m not old enough to remember the original film coming out, I spent an amazing week as a teenager doing work experience on the tour and after watching the show every night for that whole week I completely fell in love, so I was incredibly excited to see the show once more nearly 10 years later.
We all know the story by now, it has been 42 years after all (!) A young, newly engaged couple Brad and Janet break down in a rain storm, seek help at a castle, get embroiled in a strange sexy escapade involving a lot of corsets, garters, aliens and a ton of amazing songs and costumes.
The whole thing was a lot of fun, as I expected. Lots of audience members dressed up to the nines, who had obviously seen the show many times before, yelling out the ‘other’ script to fill in the gaps between the actors lines. It has to be one of the most interactive theatre shows ever, it really felt like a party and several times everyone was up on their feet, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs (me included).
One stand out performance for me came from Brad, played by Ben Freeman of Emmerdale fame. At first when I looked at the programme, I worried he was a little young (and maybe even a little too good looking) to play the geeky character. However my mind was soon put the rest, as not only did he have the awkward physicality down but he also completely nailed the character. A little straight laced, a little shy and eventually blossoming into something more confident in the final number, feather boa and all!
Another shining performance came from Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff. He has performed in the Rocky Horror Show nearly a thousand times and it’s easy to see why. He IS Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff. The look, the voice, the physicality, the grovelling servant turned powerful alien. He’s go it and it’s great to watch.
In this production, Frank n Furter is played by Liam Tamne. As much as I thought he was an amazing singer and a big presence on stage, I don’t feel quite like he had the character down, although who can really compare to Tim Curry? They are very big high heeled shoes to fill after all! Several times during big numbers I feel like he dropped the character a little.
Overall that no matter my quibbles with the main man himself, this show is an incredibly fun night out and will definitely get you in the (Christmas) party mood so go see it before it completely sells out!
Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show UK Tour is at Brighton’s Theatre Royal until 2 Jan. See website for times and prices.