Reviewed by Jodie Crawford
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
There ain’t no party like a Rocky Horror Show party!
What an absolute feast for the senses this is. The cast, the music, the gags, the costumes, the lighting design, the choreography, the audience……everything was just as it should be – absolutely thrilling!
There is no other show in this world that grabs the audience and takes them on an journey of absolute wackiness and wild escapism like this ones does.
The plot (loosely) centres around young, introverted couple – Brad, played by the truly delightful Ore Oduba, and Janet, played by the divine Haley Flagerty, who on their way home from a wedding become engaged just moments before their car breaks down. With no help to speak of, the couple take refuge in a nearby castle, where mayhem and sexual adventure awaits them.
The couple are greeted by Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) who welcomes them in his own menacing manner and introduces them to the wild world of Frank N Furter (Stephen Webb) .
Frank is determined to sexually liberate these two young, naive souls on this special night, as he reveals his newest creation “Rocky” and boy does he liberate them indeed.
Lavercombe and Webb show us that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since this show debuted (nearly 50 years!) or how many people have played these roles, it is possible for these characters to still be as mesmerising and engaging as they have ever been. Webb is simply outstanding – everything about his performance is sensational. He oozes confidence and swagger, and the audience are eating out of his hands from the moment he begins “Sweet Transvestite”. Even during the curtain call you can feel the audience willing him to sing us just one more number.
The audience participation in this show is something that has grown over time and the actors expect it and rise to the bait. Narrator, Philip Franks, is ready and waiting for the heckles and is hilarious in his quick comebacks and gags: the audience love him for it.
It’s obvious that many of the audience have been to the show plenty of times (and they certainly dressed for the occasion) but it’s not just for the veterans. It’s an experience for all adult theatre goers, who have a sense of adventure and aren’t easily offended. Not many shows have the entire audience up on it’s feet within the first fifteen minutes. Who doesn’t want to do the Timewarp on foggy Monday night in Manchester ?
There is, quite FRANKly, no other show in the world quite like this one.
The Rocky Horror Show is on at Manchester’s Palace Theatre until Saturday 22nd January tickets available here.