Rocky Horror Show is a manic creation from Richard O’Brien telling the story of the inexperienced and naive couple Brad and Janet who stumble upon a world of madness, sexual freeness and the sweetest transvestite in town.
The show’s unforgettable score more than makes up for the slightly wild plot, with everyone’s favourite tunes including The Time Warp raising the roof. The show’s a feel-good cult masterpiece and never fails to be a hit with audiences.
The audiences, unfortunately, are the problem. This isn’t your average trip to the theatre – it’s an atmosphere more suited to a raucous Saturday night cabaret show. Audience members heckle relentlessly throughout, dance, drink and squeal and generally make a decent piece of theatre seem like a bit of a p**s take.
The show relies heavily on having an incredible Frank N Furter – and Duncan James (from Blue) smashes it. His majestic entrance and astounding singing voice oozes confidence and charisma. My only slight criticism is he’s possibly not sensual enough – his take on the part is more aggressive and predatory.
James Darch does a great job as the innocent Brad, though Joanne Clifton doesn’t seem as comfortable in the role of Janet as she seemed when I last saw her in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Kristian Lavercombe ably steps into the role of Narrator and catches most banter thrown at him by the audience. I’ve seen him play Riff Raff before and it was an interesting switch-up to see him handle such a different character so well.
The dance numbers are ferociously full of energy and fierce flirtation which is exactly the way the audience seems to like it.
As always, the set (designed by Hugh Durrant) is fantastic and sneakily shows off the incredible live band at the back of the stage. The show is beautifully vibrant, quirky and mad – I just wish it hadn’t gained quite such a notoriety amongst those who turn a beautiful theatre into a wild night out.
Catch the show at Leeds Grand Theatre until 24th August.
Photograph credited to Johan Persson