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Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show

Malvern Theatres

*****

A STEADY stream of people in basques and fishnet tights flow through the centre of Malvern all heading to tonight’s venue - this can only mean one thing Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is in town.

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad (Ben Freeman, Emmerdale) and his fiancée Janet (Diana Vickers, The X Factor Finalist 2008), two clean cut college kids, who on their way to visit a college professor Dr. Scott (Paul Cattermole, S Club 7) meet instead Dr Frank-N-Furter (Liam Tamne, Series 3 of The Voice) by chance when their car breaks down with tyre trouble outside his house during a storm.

It’s an adventure they'll never forget when the transvestite scientist announces that he has discovered the secret to life itself and unveils his new creation, a sort of Frankenstein-style monster in the form of an artificially made, fully grown, physically perfect muscle man named Rocky (Dominic Andersen) seriously shaking up their lives.

Right from the beginning when The Usherette, working in a derelict cinema, introduces tonight's "film" in a song "Science Fiction/Double Feature" a feel good party atmosphere is with the audience.

With dancing in the aisles, glow sticks during the slow numbers, umbrellas put up during the bad weather scenes and plenty of innuendo shouting out from the audience, which on many occasions flummoxes the excellent comic narrator Steve Punt (The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Mock the Week, Horrible Histories) and of course mass participation for the classic floor filler The Time Warp. It all gives the show a real sense of excitement which must become addictive for the actors to play each night.

Great over the top performances come from Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff) who has performed in the Rocky Horror Show over a thousand times, Sophie Linder-Lee (Columbia), Kay Murphy (Magenta) and a superb live band.

Director Christopher Luscombe marking his tenth year with Rocky hadn’t actually seen the show at the time he was asked to direct it. With a passion for storytelling and liking to work outside his comfort zone, sensing that he could explore the show and discover it for himself he accepted without having any preconceptions about it.

Richard O’Brien’s (The Crystal Maze) idea for Rocky Horror Show came about after work one night, back in his flat with friends; he picked up a guitar and suggested writing a musical about low budget science fiction and horror B movies of the late 40s through to the early 70s. It first burst onto the stage of a tiny 63 seater London theatre in 1973 and by 1974 O’Brien and the original Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry were playing the show in LA, with the film version shot and then realised the following year.

Soon after people were dressing up as the characters in the show and singing all the songs. Today it’s the biggest cult musical of all time, still electrifying after four decades and still all about acceptance and being who you are. Wrping through time until 14-05-16

Johnathan Gray

09-05-16 

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