Muddy reviews: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s just a jump to the left… And then a step to the ri ri ri ri right. Put your hands on your hips, then bend your knees in twi-ice… Memories of high school discos come flooding back when I hear The Time Warp (not wishing to give my age away!) – and who didn’t want to be Susan Sarandon singing T t t t t touch me, I want to be dirrrty?
If you are a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show I have two pieces of good news for you: firstly, the stage production is coming to the Norwich Theatre Royal next month (yay) and secondly you don’t have to wait until then to read a review – and decide if it’s for you – (poet); Amber over at Muddy Surrey has already taken a jump to the left (and then a step to the ri ri ri ri right) at The New Victoria Theatre in Woking.
Her review starts at the next para, but first, a quick run through of the story: Brad asks childhood sweetheart Janet to marry him. She squeals with glee. Their car breaks down, and the next thing you know they’ve stumbled upon the castle of a transvestite doctor called Frank N Furter – and they’re no longer wearing their clothes. Take it away Amber…
The storyline is pretty flimsy, and most certainly farcical. But then, that’s really not why we’re here, is it? This is frothy and fun, rude and risqué. Most of the audience has been here before, and they arrived tonight en mass in fishnets and corsets, leather and feathers, top hats and tails. Part of the fun came from the audience’s heckles and jibes.
Narrator Norman Pace – he of famed comedy duo Hale and Pace – was brilliantly quick witted, flicking the jeers aside with the ease of a pro, even shoehorning in gags about Brexit, David Cameron and Donald Trump. Sexual innuendo and political satire aren’t a million miles apart it seems. There was even a reference to a Donald Trump-Boris Johnson love child.
Diana Vickers (ex-X Factor) was wonderful as Janet, naive and yet blossoming, while Richard Meek was perfectly fresh-faced and geeky as her fiance. Liam Tamne (former Phantom of the Opera and The Voice) was exuberant and suitably lewd as Frank N Furter, strutting around in his fishnets, corset and heels.
I knew the show had rude bits, but I hadn’t realised they were going to be so blatantly sexual. There’s no subtlety here. And, aside from the scenes when Brad and Janet each lose their virginity to Frank, it’s none so obvious as when Frank’s creation Rocky Horror comes onto the stage, his buffed body entirely on show and his only modesty a tiny pair of leopard print pants. West End newbie Dominic Andersen plays the role. And let me tell you girls, the boy’s got a hot bod. And cheekbones to die for. And he can also belt out a pretty good tune. Phwoar.
Rocky Horror was written more than 40 years ago and has a massive cult following. It’s been labelled by some critics as a tragic masterpiece – but there was nothing tragic about tonight’s show. It was just a lot of fun. Let’s do the Time Warp again…
The Rocky Horror Picture Show runs from 12-17 September at The Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL. Tel: 01603 630000. secure.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk