The Rocky Horror Show – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Review
1 Jul 2019 – 6 Jul 2019
Find out more about this production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show here.
It is over 45 years since the original production of this musical, and it is to its immense credit that it still packs quite a punch. It is hard to imagine how a musical about the inhabitants of transexual Transylvania would have gone down in the mid 70s! While Richard O’Brien never went on to create anything quite as special as this again, (although some Crystal Maze aficionados may argue the point), to have created one thing as unique as this is impressive enough. The play was later turned into a film in 1975, with the cast including some new names such as Tim Curry , Meatloaf and Susan Sarandon, and it helped launch their careers.
The play focuses on Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, a typical all American high school couple who find themselves stuck late one November evening, when their car breaks down somewhere outside Denton, Texas. They set out in search of a local homestead, so they can call someone to come to their aid. What they find instead is a castle with all types of nefarious creatures lurking within. Strangely, they seem to enjoy what they find!
The play is a parody of the B-movies from the era, which all have a similar set-up. There is a strong emphasis on song and in the second act of the production, it moves quickly from one to the next, including such well known numbers as Sweet Transvestite, Dammit, Janet! and the Time Warp.
This production is currently touring the UK, with Dublin its only date in Ireland. It has Duncan James in the main role as Frank-N-Furter, who some may know as Ryan from Hollyoaks, and he is very impressive throughout. He looks quite spectacular in fishnets and has a voice to match. The only problem is that he is so tall that Rocky (Callum Evans) only comes up to his shoulder! Evans does make up for it with some impressive gymnastics, as he flips and spins around the stage. Joanne Clifton does well with the part of Janet, making the transition from perfect high school student to a ‘creature of the night’ look a whole lot of fun. James Darch felt a little stiff as Brad Majors, but he does have a good singing voice.
For some, the movie will always be the perfect version of the Rocky Horror Picture show, but with the demise of the Classic cinema (which showed it every Friday night), it is rarely screened other than the occasional night in the Sugar Club. The live version does have something unique though and it adds great vigour to have a full band and live singers perform the work. If you’re a fan of the film and know what to shout at any particular moment in the script, the actors are well used to it and even pause expecting to hear responses from the audience. The interaction is mainly handled by the narrator, Steve Punt, who takes it all with a wry grin! It’s certainly a good night out and it’s always welcome to see something as brash and wild as the Rocky Horror on stage!