Express & Star

Review: Rocky Horror gets audience up on their feet for two-hour party

Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical Rocky Horror Picture Show is back with a vengeance.

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It is being showcased until Saturday at the Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.

If you are new to this rock ‘n’ roll musical the narrator, played by Philip Franks, was skilful with his quick fire delivery of current affairs and sparring with the audience as he talked us through the plight of newly-engaged innocent sweethearts Brad and Janet.

The couple’s car breaks down while out in a thunder storm and they then end up at a remote castle seeking help.

Behind the eerie creaking door they get more than they bargained for when they meet transvestite scientist Dr. Frank N Furter aka Stephen Webb who totally owned this role as he pranced across the stage creating his perfect lover, Rocky, with his oddball servants Riff Raff, Columbia and the husky voiced Magenta.

Rocky Horror Show at the Regent Theatre

The play takes on a bizarre turn when Brad and Janet realise too late that they are out of their depth and are easy game for the castle’s creatures.

Brad played by Ore Aduba and Janet played by Hayley Flaherty were well paired, but it was the enthusiastic audience who, on their feet from the start almost stole the show with an illuminated “JANET” sign during the classic “ Damn it Janet” number.

Watching this performance I felt like I was in a time warp, immediately transported to 20 years ago when I first saw this show dressed in a basque and stocking. While this time my attire was more conventional the audience was split with many having made the effort to dress up, giving costume designer Sue Blane a run for her money.

Rocky Horror Show at the Regent Theatre

While this play has been around for many years the current cast confirmed this tour has lost none of its zest or comedic timing.

Nathan Wright’s choreography was snappy but the “Time Warp” dance was clear so Rocky Horror virgins were able to participate. The audience enthusiasm was not lost on the cast who were vibrant and energetic throughout the show bringing this bizarre tale to life and giving their all to the cult songs, Sweet Transvestite and Time Warp.

Director Christophe Luscombe excelled the audience’s expectations with a combination of scripted and physical punchlines as the play maintained its pace throughout with the finale repeating Frank N Furter’s entrance, a roundup of the iconic songs and culminating with the Time Warp.

Rocky Horror Show at the Regent Theatre

Although not a complete sell out the audience made up for the few empty seats with a rapturous standing ovation.

The Rocky Horror is very much a show about having fun and audience participation so if you fancy a two hour party atmosphere while seeing the Creatures of the Night tickets are still available from the Regent theatre ticket office or 0333 009 6690.