The Rocky Horror Show

Coventry Belgrade


My habit of arriving at the theatre at least 20 minutes early is richly rewarded at The Rocky Horror Show.

The audience is pure joy. A couple of Frank-N Furters, many Magentas, a spattering of Columbias, no Riff Raffs that I saw but that’s a tricky one, and I didn’t spot any Rockies! The audience seemed to know the script every bit as well as the cast.

I’m sure there was a professional heckler encouraging the house to add their comments as we went, and very funny they were. My favourite was easily ‘What’s your favourite Lionel Richie song?’ before the narrator spotted strangers with a ‘Hello!’. Handled with expert aplomb by the aforementioned and gorgeous narrator (Stefano Guerriero) we are treated to a show and a half that’s probably not for your maiden aunt – unless of course she frequented the King’s Road, Chelsea in the early 70s in which case she was there first. That’s a real Time Warp!

Newly engaged, innocent-as-the-driven-snow sweethearts Brad (Richard Meek) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) have a flat tyre on a rainy night and seek shelter in a strange, very strange castle. Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) and his sister Magenta (Suzie McAdam) greet them, with Columbia (Darcy Finden). It gets stranger still when Frank-N-Furter (Stephen Webb) steals the scene in Glam Rock transvestite get up of heels, corsets and suspenders. He is working on an experiment a la Frankenstein to create man – and Rocky (Ben Westhead) comes to life; and what a man!

There’s a bit of murder too. Poor Eddie (Joe Allen) ‘goes to pieces’ after his showstopping ‘Eddie’s Teddy’…  I have to say that musically it’s wonderful. There’s a sensational band up top and some great voices. Brad’s was my favourite – gorgeously pure.

Purity is not the watchword thereafter. As Tallulah Bankhead put it, ‘Pure as the driven slush’. There’s a range of bed-hopping as Brad and Janet’s innocence is severely tested, and lost. But this show has everything and more. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, it’s both erotic and witty, clever and contagiously happy despite the end being a contender for the Hamlet prize. Riff Raff and Magenta take over and announce that they are from the planet Transexual in Transylvania and are going home ….well, it must be a pretty fun place to be. Why not? To 08-10-22

Jane Howard


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