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The Rocky Horror Show - Derngate Theatre, Northampton

The Rocky Horror Show is a spectacular show that has a special place in my heart. After all, this is no ordinary show, its one of the master’s affairs. The Rocky Horror Show attracts a certain type of audience who like to dress up; fish nets are mandatory and audience members will shout out in certain places. This is not a show for the faint hearted…well unless you are dressing up as Janet (damnit!).

The Rocky Horror Show is Richard O’Brien’s cult musical about Brad and Janet; newly engaged whose car breaks down. They stumble across an old castle and decide to knock to ask to use their phone and discover so much more than they could ever anticipate. It is intentionally set in a B-movie style and features so many brilliant songs including Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature, Dammit Janet and, of course, the timeless, Time-Warp.

Ore Oduba plays Brad. He was outstanding and nailed Brad (ha ha). He gave us geek, sexy and has perfect comic timing. Ore says “Rocky is such an iconic musical with songs that everyone knows, so I’m sure the Rocky fans will be desperate to do the Time Warp again.... just got to remember to pack my stockings!”. Stephen Webb plays Frank-N-Furter and what a sweet transvestite he is. I have seen him in this role before and he always gives it everything. He is camp and very sexy and commands the stage with a presence so you cannot take your eyes off of him. Stephen has a very expressionate face so even when he doesn’t have a line, he steals the scenes. So much sass it should be illegal.

Kristian Lavercombe plays Riff Raff, and he is the epitome of Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff. Kristian’s performance is faultless and he is exceptional in the role. You know you are going to have a good time once he invites you in from the rain. I am sure O’Brien feels his legacy is safe in Kristian’s hands.

Philip Franks is The Narrator and frankly the best narrator I have ever watched. He absolutely nailed ad-lib, for every shout out he had a retort. He was also current, even mentioning Prince Andrew having Covid 19 at the Jubilee Celebrations – I won’t mention the quote as it could be deemed as treason, but what a fabulous and unexpected response. At one point he even breaks into a verse of an Osmond’s song. He is just outstanding and so comfortable in the role he makes it easy for the audience to let go and shout out without hesitation.

Haley Flaherty plays Janet. Haley was excellent in the role and has a wisp of Sandy from Grease about her. She sung perfectly and is very memorable in the role. A great Janet who wasn’t as weak and helpless as you expect. Ben Westhead plays the part of Rocky. This role isn’t easy to play, as there is not much dialogue so you need to be able to act and react accordingly. Ben does this to perfection and with a sweet innocent air. I’m definitely a muscle fan. My favourite character and the one I normally dress up as is Magenta who was played by Suzie McAdam. Suzie also plays the usherette. I loved Suzie’s portrayal of both characters and her voice was stunning and very well suited for the roles.

An exceptional cast in an exceptional show. Derngate Theatre in Northampton is undoubtably the best place to see it. Audience members are fantastic and really pulled out all the stops on their outfits. See some of their outfits below. And they didn’t wait til the end of the show to do the Time Warp – oh no – they were on their feet very early on. There is no where better to see Rocky Horror than Northampton. You know you need this. Don’t dream it – be it. Go buy a ticket to give yourself over to absolute pleasure.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is at Derngate Theatre until 9 July 2022.

Tickets available here


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