Rocky Horror Show – UK Tour Review

Rating: *****

Reviewed on: Wednesday 6th March at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre.


Richard O’Brien’s cult musical, Rocky Horror Show, is back touring the UK. The musical which last year celebrated it’s 45th anniversary since the stage premiere is as popular as ever.

The musical which follows two young clean-cut kids, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who whilst on travelling to visit an old college professor suffer their car breaking down. They seek refuge in a castle which they passed unwittingly knowing what awaits inside. Dr Frank N Furter and his minions are preparing one of his maniacal experiments and the arrival of Brad and Janet starts an unforgettable evening of seduction, murder and mayhem.

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Stephen Webb as Frank N Furter. Photo by Dave Freeman

Christopher Luscombe, who has directed Rocky Horror for 13 years now, is once again at the helm. He simply gets Rocky Horror and his productions which have played in the West End, Australian Tours and also in a worldwide cinema broadcast, have always been exemplary. Returning with Christopher are much of the same creative team and the same set and costume design from the past couple of tours has been retained.

With the returning design of the previous tours (set design by Hugh Durrant, costumes by Sue Blane, choreography by Nathan M Wright, lighting by Nick Richings and sound by Gareth Owen), the show could feel very much stuck in a rut but this simply isn’t the case. A new company of actors bring their own energy and talent to the show.

Stephen Webb is excellent as Frank N Furter, his boundless energy and powerful vocal range really soar across the evening. His rendition of “I’m Going Home” is a really touching moment. No matter how many of the company are on the stage you find your eyes drawn to Stephen’s Frank as he struts around the stage.

 

Ben Adams gives a brilliant geeky Brad matched by Joanne Clifton’s excellent Janet. Her powerful vocals and stage presence are hugely enjoyable. Laura Harrison’s is sensual and sexy as Magenta, her voice is powerful and her rendition of Science Fiction Double Feature as the Usherette is delightful. I’ve seen numerous different actresses play this role but Laura’s the best to date.

Miracle Chance brings Columbia to life with cartoon-like excitement. The scene when she’s been gassed is a comic highlight of the night. Ross Chisari has a stonkingly great voice and is great as both Eddie and Dr Scott. Callum Evans is amazingly athletic, somersaulting and back-flipping throughout, he is breathtaking to watch and combines his movement with a fine vocal.

Kristian Lavercombe returns as Riff Raff, having performed the role over 1400 times in the UK and beyond. He is iconic in the role. His voice is powerful and he’s constantly a stand-out. From the first moment, you meet Riff Raff in the number “Over at the Frankenstein Place” you know you’re watching a special performance.

 

Dom Joly gives a wonderful turn as the Narrator. He ably responds to the audience shoutouts that make Rocky Horror unique. He’s never flustered and is constantly funny. The show’s audience is a character in itself it the shoutouts and the Wednesday night crowd in Woking didn’t disappoint.

Reece Budin, Shelby Farmer, Katie Monks and Jake Small all bring a great presence to the Phantoms and really add to the piece. The live musicians under musical director George Carter sound excellent. Clearly, a talented group of musicians, the 5 members of the band are a thrill to listen too.

If you’re new to the experience, you’ll want to go in with an open mind and shall have to not be easily offended. Throw away any expectations and just go along with the wild ride.

This new touring production proves the show is as popular and as enjoyable as ever. Rocky Horror is a show that I’ve seen over 60 times and it’s a show that I hold dear to me having played a huge part in my life over the 13 years since I first saw it.

Fresh, fabulous and as wild as ever. Rocky Horror is a unique night out and this production is Rocky Horror at its 5 star best. Don’t miss it.


Rocky Horror tours the UK with dates currently booking until November. For more information and booking details click here.

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The Time Warp. Photo by Dave Freeman.
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