The Rocky Horror Show was written by Richard O’Brien (yes he of the Crystal Maze fame), back in 1973. It’s a humours pastiche of dreadful B horror and sci-fi movies that you would see at the cinema back in the 1930s thru to the 1960s, things like Dracula and Frankenstein or Flash Gordon or Zorro.
These references start from the opening number, “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, with many famous movies and film stars mentioned.
After playing to audiences in London the Rocky Horror Show soon moved to America and Broadway, achieving a cult following. In 1975 a movie version was produced and this sealed the production’s huge worldwide following. Now in it’s 50th year and playing at the Ipswich Regent this week and touring the UK in celebration.
If you’re a virgin audience member to either the stage show or the movie it can take a while to adapt to some of this show’s peculiarities. Be prepared to be sitting alongside audience members (of any sex) dressed in torn stockings and suspenders. Don’t look in disgust if audience members shout out heckles at the performers either. These heckles are all part of the fun that is The Rocky Horror Show and by the end of the evening you’ll be enjoying the comedic value of the audience quips as much as those from the stage.
The basic story is like so many horror movies of the 50s, young couple get stranded on a dark rainy night when their car breaks down. The only building is an old castle where they go for help. Once inside though they get dragged into a strange world of a mad scientist, Dr Frank N Furter (superbly played by Stephen Webb) who is trying to create his own human creation, a muscle man called Rocky.
The story then merges with other genres such as out of space, zombies and much more, but don’t worry there’s a narrator (Jackie Clune who interacts brilliantly with the audience quips) who attempts to keep you on the storyline.
It’s all abit crazy and mixed up, but more than that it’s pure fun and madcap entertainment – don’t take it too seriously just enjoy! The musical numbers will have you tapping your feet, or even up on your feet and joining in, especially with the most famous number, “The Time Warp”.
Superb cast, great musical numbers performed by some wonderful voices.
This truly is a musical the likes of which you will have never seen before!
Take a step to the left and get your ticket now.
- The Rocky Horror Show is at the Ipswich Regent until Saturday 7th October, www.ipswichtheatres.co.uk for tickets.
- Words: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine.
- Pictures: David Freeman