It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the wonderfully weird.
To say you’ve never seen The Rocky Horror Show is akin to some as saying you’ve never seen Dirty Dancing. As a show which has truly reached cult status be prepared to be greeted by aghast faces and chimes of “you HAVE to see it! You’d LOVE it”. This reaction rightly set pretty high expectations for the opening night at the Regent Theatre in Stoke and the cast made partly of Ben Freeman, Diana Vickers, Paul Cattermole and Liam Tamne as the infamous Dr Frank N. Furter surely put on a show not to be missed by existing fans of the show and those were having their Rocky cherry popped for the first time!
The show opens innocently enough, we meet Brad and Janet, a squeaky clean couple who are recently engaged and madly in love who, when their car breaks down one evening, they’re in no way prepared for just how quickly their innocence will disappear. After seeking help at the home of Dr Frank ‘n’ Furter, Brad and Janet (and an audience full of theatre goers) are in for the ride of their lives as they meet Frank and his house of whoreish horrors.
This cult classic from Richard O’Brian certainly has its fans, those who’ve watched it once or twice and those who have loved it since it first arrived in the theatre 43 years ago and has thus been entertaining audiences for over 4 decades. Returning to the Regent Theatre, it was easy to distinguish between the two for this latest adaptation. Fish net stockings, platforms, French maid outfits and sequins help you to identify the die hard fans in the lobby and once inside the theatre, they’re the first ones up out of their seats with their hands on their hips (and bending their knees in time, of course).
You’ll be relieved to hear that audience participation is not a requirement, aside from the obligatory Time Warp or two, but be prepared for members of the audience to shout out during the show making you feel like you’re at somewhat of a naughty adult pantomime.. oh no it doesn’t! Steve Punt, the Narrator is the only member of the cast to openly address what seems like heckles for a newbie like myself and his quick and comedic responses will have you chuckling equally as much as you do at the innuendos.
The Rocky Horror Show is on at the Regent Theatre, Stoke until Saturday 28th May. You can buy tickets online or via the box office.