The Rocky Horror Show – Milton Keynes Theatre

Writer: Richard O’Brien
Music and Lyrics: Richard O’Brian and Richard Hartley
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Reviewer:Natasha Hegarty

“Dirty, sexy and absolutely stunning”

The Rocky Horror Show needs no introduction – sex, suspenders and a storyline that is completely ridiculous, but this current touring version is utterly stunning in more ways than one. The longevity of this show means things could end up stale and worn out, but nothing in this performance is either.

This production is as dirty as ever and will leave those who’ve never seen The Rocky Horror Show blushing in their seats. However, it wouldn’t be a successful production without at least a little blushing. Nathan M Wright’s choreography has the cast gyrating and thrusting all over the stage, pushing the script along with every song.

Christopher Luscombe’s production tells the tale of a newly-engaged, all-American and very innocent couple – Brad and Janet – getting caught in a storm and like every wonderful B-movie ever released, they end up seeking help in a castle in the woods. This happens to be the home of the outrageous mad scientist and transvestite Frank N Furter, who is revealing his latest creation on that very night – Rocky.

Liam Tamne as Frank N Furter is simply extraordinary. It’s difficult to imagine anyone else pulling off the stocking-and-suspender clad protagonist with such confidence and talent. His performance as the flamboyant character is superb and nigh on perfect and he ensures chemistry with every character he meets. He struts around on the stage as if he owns it – and own it he does. His performances of Sweet Transvestite and the gut wrenching I’m Going Home stand out.

Diana Vickers of X Factor fame is almost unrecognisable as Janet – the innocent girl led astray by Frank N Furter. Her voice, accent, and acting make it impossible to remember her as we were first introduced to her talent all those years ago. She works incredibly well with Richard Meek who, as Brad, also succumbs to Frank N Furter’s charms.

Also worth noting is Paul Cattermole (S Club 7); although his rock performance as Eddie lacks a little, his performance as Doctor Scott is very funny.

Another highlight of this show is Norman Pace – of Hale and Pace fame – who is brilliant as Narrator. He even manages to make his monologues relevant here and there with a few digs at the UK’s current political situation and even one at his own acting past, which gets a big laugh and massive round of applause.

Everything from Nick Richings’ incredible lighting to Sue Blane’s traditional and as sexy as ever costumes complements the wonderful acting and singing.

As flamboyant as it is, the show’s more touching moments still shine and the ending is still as sad as ever. All the famous songs are there with The Time Warp getting everyone on their feet. The audience – as ever – add another layer with the hardcore fans dressing up and heckling throughout. The actors pause at the right time, leaving the crowd to yell out at the cast and it takes seasoned and professional actors not to crack at some of the more filthy phrases, but they just about manage it.

So all in, The Rocky Horror Show is exactly as it should be and at the same time feels as fresh, exciting and as shocking as Richard O’Brien’s original, back when it was first performed over 40 years ago. So pull up your stockings, grab a glow stick and make sure you know all the songs, this show is a stunning piece of theatre.

Runs until 30 July 2016 | Image: Contributed


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The Central team is under the editorship of Selwyn Knight. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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