Rocky Horror Show – World Tour 2021
Rocky Horror Show is a fan favourite musical that has been around since 1973 and has won a place in many theatre goers and non theatre goers hearts alike. It tells of Brad and Janet who get a flat tyre and ring on the door bell of Frank N Furter’s castle. This leads to a night full of illicit affairs, aliens and science experiments!
I should give a disclaimer for this review, I am a Rocky Horror show stan! I think it is the musical that I have seen the most times and have travelled to see it across the country. However I like to think that this will make me a more discerning viewer having seen multiple iterations of the same show.
The show is pure escapism and it had me laughing out loud with the jokes, no mean feat considering I knew most of the punch lines. The delivery from the cast always felt fresh and their energy was exceptional.
Some Rocky Horror Show virgins are surprised to learn that the audience are expected to heckle the cast! The vast majority of responsibility for dealing with these heckles is down to the narrator who was played by Philip Franks. Franks not only succeeded in making it funny but also relevant. There were wise crack retorts about Matt Hancock, about the frankfurters that got delivered to stage door instead of the Frank N Furter wigs and of course jokes about the locality of the show. I have seen Franks in the role before and I loved that he still felt fresh and his retorts were still different! Overall Franks was a superb narrator as he was easily able to deal with all of this whilst not letting the heckles take over the show.
Playing Brad *asshole* and Janet *slut* was Ore Oduba and Haley Flaherty. They were superb together with just the right amount of innocence and naughty combined. Flaherty in particular had a really strong voice and in numbers such as ‘Toucha Toucha Touch-Me’ we really saw what she could do. Danny Knott was on for Riff Raff when I saw it, who is normally swing for the show. Super fans of the show may have initially have been disappointed as Kristian Lavercombe (the usual Riff Raff) is synonymous with the show however they needn’t have been! Anyone else lucky enough to catch Knott in the role is in for a real treat! His physicality as Riff Raff was excellent and a loved watching him lumber across the stage. Equally his voice was very strong.
A Rocky Horror show review isn’t complete without mentioning Frank N Furter and he was played by Stephen Webb. He was an incredibly commanding Frank and strutted across the stage as if he was born in the heels he was performing in.
The direction of the show hasn’t changed much over the recent years but this motto of ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ certainty rings true for this show and in particular for this version of it. It is still very fun and playful with a huge (and respectful) nod to the more traditional elements of the show. The costumes in this show are always a feast for the eyes with sequins, gold hot pants and heels being just some of the staples you would expect and again this production didn’t disappoint.
Rocky Horror Show is the perfect tonic after a year of no theatre; fun, irreverent and entertaining I would urge everyone to Time Warp their way to the Orchard Theatre to catch this show….and you can even make your medical masks part of your Frank N Furter costume!
Rocky Horror Show is on at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford until Friday 3rd September. To find out more about the Rocky Horror Show and see where else it is going on tour, visit their website here.