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The Rocky Horror Show, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - review

By Rebecca Stanley | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

It's just a jump to the left, and then a few steps to Wolverhampton Grand to see a cult phenomenon in the flesh - and trust me, there's lots of it.

Joanne Clifton and James Darch starring in The Rocky Horror Show. Picture: David Freeman

Richard O'Brien's rock 'n' roll musical The Rocky Horror Show was a flop when it hit cinema screens in 1975, but it was quickly picked up by the midnight cinema circuit and became a cult classic.

Fans would flock to screenings with their rubber gloves and water pistols in tow, dressed up as their favourite characters ready to shout at the screen and act out all the best bits.

And last night, hundreds of avid Rocky fans flocked to the Science Fiction Double Feature in stockings, suspenders and lab coats ready to do the Time Warp...Again!

The show tells the tale of bright eyed, newly engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss.

Following their engagement, the couple travel to inform their former science professor, Dr Everett Scott, who helped bring the love birds together.

But Brad's car breaks down along the way, and the couple are forced to walk to an imposing castle in the distance to ask for help.

All is not what it seems when they arrive, as they encounter the castle's weird and wonderful residents, including tantalising transvestite from Transylvania - Frank-N-Furter.

Callum Evans as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show. Image: Richard Davenport

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Packed full of toe-tapping songs and raunchy humour, The Rocky Horror Show is an experience like no other.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Joanne Clifton wowed as the naive and innocent Janet, perfectly nailing her nasal talking voice and stiff body movements.

Her voice stunned during numbers Over At The Frankenstein Place and Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me, that saw the wholesome Janet transform into a promiscuous vixen.

James Darch similarly impressed as Brad Majors, demonstrating broad vocal range and tone during hit song Damn It, Janet that introduces the audience to the loved-up duo.

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Kristian Lavercombe is renowned for his performance as the ghoulish alien servant Riff-Raff, and his performance in this production certainly shows why. Every haunting movement and shrill vocal brought the extraordinary character to life - even a simple smile or raised eyebrow incited cheers from the entire room.

Laura Harrison and Miracle Chance dazzled as Magenta and Columbia respectfully, bringing an ounce of glamour and a whole heap of laughter every time they hit the stage.

Joanne Clifton and James Darch starring in The Rocky Horror Show. Picture: David Freeman

But it was the sultry and seductive Frank-N-Furter, played by theatre and TV star Stephen Webb, that really stole the show.

The entire room whooped as he strutted onto the stage in a velvet cloak and his iconic black lingerie, demonstrating his powerful, hair-raising vocal style during legendary track Sweet Transvestite.

Frank commanded the stage every time his stiletto heel stepped onto it; whether he was acting out a raunchy scene in a large double bed, or grabbing a feather boa for the floor show.

The story is helped along by the Phantoms - portrayed fantastically by Reece Budin, Shelby Farmer, Katie Monks and Jake Small - as well as the narrator, with Heartbeat star Philip Frank's taking on the role.

Philip was undoubtedly one of the stand out stars of the show, causing raucous laughter every time he quipped back at the audience.

The crowd itself really helped to create an exciting atmosphere during the production, gleefully shouting out to key lines, raising props and hip thrusting along to the show's fabulous soundtrack.

Earning a well-deserved standing ovation, the cast of the Rocky Horror Show closed the curtain on the debauched, deadly and dazzling show that truly is a cut above the rest.

I can't wait for the show to return in future so I can do the Time Warp once more.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.stanley@expressandstar.co.uk

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