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ROCKY HORROR SHOW

05-11-2009

Rocky Horror Show

The venerable shlock horror musical is at the Hippodrome until Saturday. Terry Wills dons the fishnets and suspenders.

‘The Greatest Rock and Roll musical is back! By popular demand’ Not my words - simply one of the many platitudes showered on the The Rocky Horror Show.

Richard O’Brien’s greatly revered production, now successfully touring the country, has arrived in the city for just 5 days and without a shadow of doubt will be a massive success - bearing in mind that it’s faithful, devoted, followers will have already made up their minds too see it simply because it IS ‘The Rocky Horror Show’.

As someone who hadn’t previously seen it, I approached it with a curious sense of anticipation - how could one feel otherwise considering it’s been labelled, among others, as being ‘as funny and erotic as ever’ and ‘wicked and hilarious’?

What I did know was that its devotees not only come to see the show but also dressed for the occasion! Fishnet tights, short skirts, plunging necklines, high-heeled shoes and boots, plus any outrageous combination imaginable - and in that context there wasn’t one iota of difference between the guys and the gals!

So what’s it about and how can it be best described?

Briefly, very briefly, the story is narrated by a criminologist, who from a leather bound report, attempts to tell the story of Brad Majors and Janet Weiss. A newly engaged couple who find themselves lost in the middle of ‘nowhere’ due to their car developing a flat tyre.

Needing help they walk to a nearby castle, ring the bell, are invited in by a hunchback servant and discover the most outlandish group of people imaginable, including Dr. Frank N Furter, a transvestite from ranssexual ‘Transvalia’.

In between seducing both Janet and Brad (!) scenes that had the audience roaring with laughter, he then decides to kill anyone that takes his fancy with an ice pick and brings back to life his creation Rocky Horror- and all in all, leaves anyone attempting to take the show seriously (not that anyone does) leaping to their feet to acknowledge they really had seen exactly what they wanted.

Indeed it’s the scantily clad audience who often ‘steal ‘ the show. Especially as narrator, Ainsley Harriot, attempts to explain to the audience via his book, what is ‘going on’ as characters come and go in turn?

In many scenes the shows admirers shout out his lines long before he has the chance! No need for a ‘prompt’ – they knew exactly what to expect and the enjoyable smile on Ainsley’s face, showed that he enjoyed the banter probably as much as the audience.

The principle roles are all portrayed with charm, gusto, and an obvious sense of enjoyment. David Bedalla as Frank ‘N’ Furter is a sheer delight - the bewildered Janet and Brad, Haley Flaherty and Mark Evans look suitably bewildered while the rest of the cast also display a great sense of fun.

In his narrator role Ainsley Harriot enjoys moments of ‘magic’ with audience members who appear to know every word, and what movement comes next in this unique musical.

Which brings us on to the music itself! It’s not memorable but it is infectious especially the number that incorporates the theme of the show-‘The Time Warp’which at the end had 99% on their feet singing and dancing.

To sum up; if you’re a fan of ‘Rocky Horror Show’ you’ll know exactly what to expect and won’t be disappointed. If however out of curiosity you decide to pop along to the Hippodrome to experience a unique phenomena then be prepared to ‘enjoy’ a fun filled show that’s also been termed ‘Still the Sexiest and Funniest Show in Town’!

No argument on that score. And I haven’t the slightest doubt that any ‘innocent’ non-theatregoer in the vicinity of the Hippodrome will look on and ask themselves just what possesses people to dress in such outlandish fashion!

A simple four- word answer “The Rocky Horror Show”

Booking details birminghamhippodrome.com/WhatsOn

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