Writer: Richard O’Brien
Music and Lyrics: Richard O’Brian and Richard Hartley
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Reviewer: Ruth Jepson
Give yourself over, to absolute pleasure!
The Rocky Horror Show. Now well into its forties and showing no signs of slowing down for a second. By now, there can’t be anything new to say about this cult classic rock and roll monster, but every time you see it’s like doing a time warp back to the very first time, so fresh is each production.
The plot is… well… it doesn’t really matter. Brad (Richard Meek) and his fiancé Janet (X Factor semi-finalist Diana Vickers) are on their way to see their old teacher Dr Scott (Paul Cattermole of S Club 7 fame). Their car breaks down and, like in all the best B-movie traditions, they decide to knock on the door of the castle in the middle of the woods. And so begins the debauchery.
And debauchery it certainly is. If possible, this production of The Rocky Horror Show may actually be even dirtier than ever before. Lots of writhing around in ecstasy on this stage (maybe leave the kids at home. Actually, definitely leave the kids at home). The entire laboratory scene, already fairly sexual, is blush-worthy. And don’t the audience love it?!
Look out especially for Norman Pace, of Hale and Pace, as The Narrator. He shows every sign of enjoyment, playing with the audience as only a seasoned professional can. He warms the place up with his laugh and innuendo. Vickers also impresses as Janet, nailing her role as naive airhead turned empowered sex bomb, and she is without a doubt an amazing singer. But of course, the show is totally stolen by Dr Frank-N-Furter himself Liam Tamne, who camps it up all the way to 11, strutting and gyrating around the stage like a wet dream come to life, which makes his rendition of I’m Going Home all the more of a gut punch with its purity and emotion.
The show is a visual stunner – Sue Blame keeps it classic with the costumes, and the set by Hugh Durrant is ringed by a giant celluloid movie real, a reminder of the stylistic inspiration. The lights are amazing, and Nick Richings does an absolutely breathtaking job with his laser shows, especially during Superheroes, where the cast is seemingly melting in and out of the purple and blue haze.
So, The Rocky Horror Show has yet again pulled off a production that feels new, shocking and surprising, while still being comfortingly exactly what you expect. The spaces are left for the inevitable audience participation, and everyone gives as good as they get (although please, if you’re going to shout out, make it genuinely funny, and don’t interrupt the ballads). Extra credit for dressing up too – Sheffield’s best was the older lady dressed as the Usherette giving out real lollipops. Get into your fishnets, grab your feather boa and a glow stick, and get down to the Lyceum to sing along at the top of your lungs – remember:
It’s just a jump to the left…
Runs until 25 June 2016 | Image: Contributed