O'Briens Rocky Horror Show fills Theatre

Rocky Horror Show

Theatre Severn

Monday 6th March-Saturday 11th March

 (Plus 2 weekend early evening performances)

What one wondered most about going to see the cult stage hit musical, “The Rocky Horror Show,” was, will the dressing up as characters of the show have survived with it into the provinces? One is aware of it being somewhat of a phenomenon in cities; but towns? One needn’t have worried as there was the audience waiting in anticipation and some of the rows camper that a row of tents, as boys in their suspender belts and Basques and the ladies in their maid’s outfits and spangly top hats stood and took their respective bows. It was hilarious the audience were cheering each other’s efforts, and no one was taking it too seriously.

Then bam, the show proper hit the stage, we were welcomed in to the narrative by the American sounding voice of an Usherette (Suzie McAdam) setting the scene with her first song drawing you into a, well…into a what?;

TRHS is a dystopian amalgam of various movie genres. From teen romance to lemon popsicle, to science fiction to farce: And in it all somewhere of course a love story too. This kind of playing with styles is Richard O’Brien refusing to be tied into theatre conventions, and to a point it works. It gets a little distracting later as the story heads to its oversized conclusion.

Narrated by Philip Franks (The Darling Buds Of May) the show was just the right size for the stage, it had a danger of being bigger than itself and to see Theatre Severn handling such a big show so well, was heartening to see, as it always is.

Where would this show be with out Franken Furter, the sweet transvestite, from transexual Transylvania? It would be lost. No worries on that score Franken (Stephen Webb) was brilliant. It is a big responsibility to turn that part into what it has to be, Mr. Webb achieved that magnificently.

So with bright colours, ludicrous plotlines and totally unlikely scenarios the show mills on through song after song; each one a classic. It was no wonder by the time Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) was singing the Timewarp everyone, throwing caution to the wind was up and doing it too. The theatre was filled with a party which then never went away.

The live band tucked away at the top of the set was a stroke of genius and they played so well. Laying down riffs and rhythms as well as any band before them and as note for note perfect to the original West End recording. They were great and having them tantalisingly in view was also a very interesting positioning.

The set which had to change so quickly and seamlessly was wonderful. Set designers and builders don’t nearly get enough credit as their work sticks out more if it goes wrong, if it wobbles or falls over, but the work and design put into the set was exquisite.

All in all a terrific fun romp of great songs, tight dancing, and fine acting. Will this reviewer however forgive Richard O’Brien for his rambling narrative which ends up meaning very little and runs out of steam. Of course! This is a classic, it’s in the British psyche and we love it. Who can’t resist a cheeky little Timewarp when no-one’s looking and the track comes on?

This is a top flight , top drawer, evening of ludicrously unfeasible but fun malarky and I for one, love it for that.

This is a Five Star Review

Sofia Lewis


Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to loveshrewsbury.com for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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