I knew it would take a spectacular show to get me back into the theatre after 18 months of lockdowns and isolation. The Rocky Horror Show is a spectacular show and one that has a special place in my heart. The Rocky Horror Show attracts a certain type of audience. They like to dress up and shout out, and for all you rocky virgins; fish nets are mandatory and be warned that some of the things shouted out are rude. 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. I had loved him on Strictly but was not sure how this would translate into a Brad. He was outstanding and nailed Brad (ha ha). He gave us geek, sexy and has perfect comic timing. His body is pretty fit too - check out his guns! Ore says “Like everybody, I’ve missed the stage so much and Rocky really is the perfect show to welcome audiences back to theatres. It’s 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 reprises his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1350 performances around the world and he is the epitome of Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff. He is like visiting an old friend, 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, telling us his that Amber Watchlist is his drag name and when people shout out the standard ‘Franks co*$K’, he responded with ‘Your co$k, my co$k, Matt Hancock – that sex god of Westminster!’ Oh, what a fabulous and unexpected response!! Philip was so comfortable in the role and it made it easy for the audience to let go and shout out without hesitation.
Haley Flaherty plays Janet. We knew her name was Haley as Philip accidentally called her this instead of Janet in the show to a riotous burst of laughter from the audience. 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. Danny Knott plays the part of Rocky, If I say Oh Rocky! you know I am impressed. This role isn’t easy to play, you not only need to have the perfect body but also as there is not much dialogue, you need to be able to act and react accordingly. Danny does this to perfection and with a sweet innocent air. No wonder Janet falls for him – we all took him to our hearts. I’m definitely a muscle fan.
This wonderful show is now playing in Milton Keynes Theatre. Firstly, I need to say that the safety precautions made me feel safe to be there. There are checks on your vaccination status and lots of sanitiser stations. If I felt safe – YOU will feel safe so please don’t let your worries stop you. Don’t dream it – be it! Theatre needs you and I can’t tell you how much I have missed it. I know you have too. This was a Monday night in Milton Keynes and the standing ovation tells you that the audience has needed this as much as the performers. I felt so lucky to be there. I’m lucky. You’re lucky…we can all be lucky. The Rocky Horror Show is 48 years old and doesn’t look a day over fabulous. After the last 18 months, you know you need this. You want it. You deserve it. Go buy yourself a ticket and give yourself over to absolute pleasure.
The Rocky Horror Show is at MK Theatre until 7 August 2021.
Tickets available here.