Quick Change Reviews: Rocky Horror Show (Tour)
It was a Monday night in January when I lost my virginity.
The weather was mild for the time of year, and I had just eaten a share bag of Munchies expertly without smudging a MAC Ruby Woo lip line.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had of course heard of the act and had some understanding of the hype and cult following. I’d just never experienced it myself. So, I ordered a glass of house white and settled myself in to be subject to the Rocky Horror Show for the very first time.
The story, if it matters at all, follows a young and newly engaged couple called Brad (Ore Oduba) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) as they seek refuge in a castle during a storm. Here, they meet oddball Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) who introduces them to the other residents and their way of living.
Dominated by the outrageous Dr Frank ‘N’ Furter (Stephen Webb) – a sweet transvestite, from Transsexual, Transylvania - Brad and Janet strap themselves in for a rollicking night.
Like the audience members, they literally have no choice but to embrace the liberation that comes with quite simply, seeing what the fuck happens next. Luckily, it makes for an evening of coy laughter, good-natured heckling and potentially even some sexual awakening.
We bear witness to that of Frank ‘N’ Furter’s trusty lover, Columbia (Lauren Ingram) as she puts on a spectacular comedic display in act 2.
Rocky Horror is tongue-in-cheek (other crevices surely optional). The experience is guided by a charmful Narrator, played by Philip Franks, who is quick to offer an alternative singular sensation to Curve’s Christmas production of A Chorus Line.
The cast are outstanding in their performances. Many are long-time veterans of the show and have handed themselves over to the course – immersed fully in their characters and embodying the energy given by the audience hungry for it.
Highlights include Lavercombe’s Riff Raff leading the famous and fabulous ‘Time Warp’, and Suzie McAdam’s vocals that open and close the show as the poised Usherette. Flaherty’s ‘Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me’ was joyful to watch as she toys with sweetness and promiscuity whilst Webb’s ‘Sweet Transvestite’ could fill stadiums with his showmanship.
It goes without saying that the costumes (credit to Sue Blane) are iconic and devilishly fun. Whites that could feature in a Vanish ad post water-shed, contrast brilliantly with black leather and glamorous gold. They’re captured brilliantly against a playful set by Hugh Durrant.
The show flies by with a dramatic sweep of a velvet cape in a blur of fishnets and blue eyeshadow. By no means is the show as risky and ground-breaking as it was 50 years ago, but it perfectly celebrates it’s legacy and the boundaries that it pushed, and will be forever loved.
They say you never forget your first. 10/01/2022.
Rocky Horror plays at Curve till 15/01/2022 before continuing on tour.