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Happy Birthday Rocky Horror

I can’t believe Rocky Horror is 50. Of course, I am not old enough to have known about it in the 70’s. My virgin experience was totally as a virgin in the mid 1980’s. I had never seen the film, and videos were expensive so my first experience of Rocky Horror was on stage in the Derngate Theatre, Northampton. I didn’t know back then that you had set things to shout out but I joined in anyway. I wasn’t dressed up because I knew nothing about the show. I really was more innocent than Janet. But it was not long before I became a fully fledged Transylvanian. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was truly ground-breaking in its time and the wonderful Richard O’Brien should be commended for being so brave.

But why has it stood the test of time? I will happily tell you why I think it is still drawing audiences 50 years on. Firstly, it’s a love story albeit a strange one. (how strange was it?). Brad (asshole) and his fiancée, Janet (slut) are on their way to tell their friend about their engagement when their car breaks down. (what was that bang?) (a gang bang!). They stop at a castle and ask for a phone to use. That’s when the fun really starts. Did I mention its raining?

So back to why people love it. Its interactive, you get the chance to interact with the cast and if you know the script well you can make the audience laugh. My favourite line to shout out has been removed from the most recent touring production. When Riff Raff is asked ‘What was his crime?’ I used to love to shout out ‘overacting’. Sadly, that is one destined for the history books as I’ve not heard it in several years now. This show attracts people like me who love to dress up. You can dress up as any of the characters in the show and I love those that really do go that bit further such as the usheress with her ice creams singing ‘Science Fiction’ or those who do Magenta in her silver outfit ready to go back home. Over the years I have been Magenta for the majority of the time. Its not about the outfit but look at my hair! It screams to be Magenta. I am also dark and weird and feel like a Magenta. However, I have also done Columbia, both with sparkly jackets and floor show Columbia. I just don’t see myself as a Janet. I am not that innocent anymore. I believe people choose to go to Rocky Horror to escape their every day lives. They are looking for fun and Rocky Horror certainly delivers.

I think I know this show better than any other show or musical. I know every word. I know every song lyric. It speaks to me. Just writing the title of this blog, I wanted to say:

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday dear Rocky

Happy birthday to … shall we?

There is a part of me that hates hearing Time Warp at a wedding. Why? Because this show was made for all of us who feel like outsiders. Those lovely weirdos (of which I count myself as one) and I just can’t imagine Brads and Janet’s really getting what the Time Warp means. But for all you fans who love it, who know it as well as I do and who dress up in full outfits and embrace it, let’s don our party hats and celebrate. After all, Rocky Horror is a guiding star. No matter what or who you are…

There's a light, a light In the darkness of everybody's life

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