“It’s astounding” The Rocky Horror Show at The Regent Theatre

Walking up Piccadilly on Monday night, it was a sea of stockings, corsets, feather boas and gold glitter hats. Contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t your average night in Hanley, but instead the opening night of The Rocky Horror Show at the Regent Theatre.

Of course, it’s not the first time the production has come to the city, but it was my first time attending, and so, naturally, I threw on a vintage corset, a feather boa and my highest heels to mark the occasion.

Getting inside past the Magenta’s and exquisitely made up Frank N. Furter’s was a jump to the left and a step to the right, giving way to a dolled up DJ and party vibes in the historic buildings foyer. 

About The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show has been entertaining audiences for nearly 50 years, opening in London at the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs in 1973. Richard O’Brien’s world’s favourite Rock ‘N’ Roll musical has since been performed worldwide in more than 30 countries and translated into 20 languages.

Two years later it was transformed into The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie which generated $135 million at the Box Office, and still sees regular midnight showings to this day, featuring  Richarl O’Brien, Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Meatloaf.

Read more: Bat Out Of Hell gets The Regent Theatre ‘all revved up’ in memory of Meat Loaf

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank N Furter when their car breaks down near his house while on their way to visit their college professor, Dr Scott.

Frank N Furter encourages the innocent duo to stay the night and witness the birth of his new playmate blonde and tan Rocky – but each of them find themselves seduced by Dr Furter in an unusual sexual awakening.

The review

Excited chatter filled the auditorium as ticket holders awaited the late night, double feature, picture show, and before long, the curtain was peeled back to reveal Haley Flaherty and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba as Janet and Brad on their way to see Dr Scott.

Actor and presenter Ore has been receiving rave reviews as Brad Majors, swapping his dancing shoes for fishnets and a corset by the end of the show. He’s described the experience as a ‘wild ride’, adding: “Truth is, when you know how it feels to wear a corset and heels it’s very hard to take them off! The audiences have been incredible and I can’t wait to Time Warp around even more corners of the country.”

And speaking of the audience, it’s really them who make the show, or at least make each one a uniquely wild experience. It appeared that a large portion of the crowd had been to see The Rocky Horror Show at least once before, coming prepared with sexual quips and vulgar shout outs – though one extremely prepared duo came with a light up sign that said ‘Janet’, which was held up each time they sang her name in ‘Damn It Janet’. And of course, almost everyone got on their feet to join in with the Time Warp while winging feather boas in the air.

It was a night filled with humour, but the biggest giggles were garnered from  Philip Franks, as The Narrator. His flexible role meant he was able to bend his script with a licence to respond, making the audience a part of the story while poking fun at Prince Andrew and Boris Johnson. As you can imagine, some of his quick-witted comebacks are simply too rude to repeat.

Stephen Webb stepped into the suspenders and high heels of Tim Curry for Frank N Furter, offering a dominant performance that at times is as uncomfortable as a corset. The show itself raises some ethical issues around consent – but Webb’s portrayal of the Sweet Transvestite was flawless, from his glam costume changes and sultry dance moves, he stepped into the role with pelvic-thrusting sass.

Meanwhile, Kristian Lavercombe’s Riff-Raff comes as second nature, having played the role more than 1,800 times, perfectly embodying the Richard O’Brien character. Magenta and Columbia were totally thrilling, and Lauren Ingram may well do just about anything on stage – including cocking her leg like a dog, no, really…

As a Rocky virgin, I can assure you there’s no need to have seen the film or the show before to enjoy it to its fullest – but you’ll know just what to wear and what to bring along with you next time.

A guaranteed sci-fi party, The Rocky Horror Show is at The Regent Theatre, Hanley until Saturday, June 18 and is a raunchy, naughty and astounding production that’s not to be missed. Time is fleeting – go get your tickets from as little as £13 now. 

 

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