As an out-of-work actor Richard O'Brien, the lunatic from the Crystal Maze wrote the Rocky Horror Show to keep himself busy on winter evenings. The musical first appeared at the Royal Court Theatre in 1973 and is now in it's 40th year. This year the Rocky Horror Show is back with an all new anniversary party production.
At any other show you'd be turned away at the door for baring your backside and heckling obscenities but anything goes here and the die-hard fans definitely went all out for the show's Ruby anniversary... there were some sights! The casting director it seems also went all out with an all-star cast who were definitely picked on talent despite their status.
Roxanne Pallett and Ben Forster
On entering the theatre you find yourself in a derelict movie theater, an usherette introduces tonight's Science Fiction Double Feature. We follow Brad Majors and Janet Weiss as their car suffers a blow-out and they seek refuge in a nearby house, the home of Dr Frank-N-Furter - a pansexual transvestite scientist.
Leading the show as the newly engaged Brad and Janet are ITV's winner of Jesus Christ Superstar Ben Forster and Roxanne Pallett (Emmerdale). Both embody the sweet and vulnerable college kids with such charm and deliver powerhouse vocals that bring the audience into concert-worthy applause on many occasions.
Abigail Jaye, Kristian Lavercombe and Ceris Hine
In the role originated by Richard O'Brien himself, I imagine it's very difficult to find a Riff Raff quite up to the job - Kristian Lavercombe is one of the show's many assets and brings everything that Mr O'Brien ever did and then goes one more - giving an outstanding performance and has everyone on their feet for the Time Warp.
Abigail Jaye and Ceris Hine complete the house servants as Magenta and Columbia. Abigail impresses with a strong vocal and can most certainly belt and her rendition of Science Fiction/Double Feature made sure everyone was enthused for a fun night. The sparkling little jewel of the production is clearly Ceris Hine. Returning to the production after winning everyone's hearts on the 2009/10 tour the pint-sized, tap dancing ball of energy makes sure all eyes on her as she hit the high notes and wings and buffalos her way around the stage.
In what has already been billed as the sexiest production of the show to date, producers turn up the heat with West End star Oliver Thornton who dons the iconic stockings and suspenders as Dr Frank-N-Furter. Strutting comfortably, after three years as Felicia in the London production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert Oliver is no stranger to being so scantily clad. Completely embracing the role Oliver Thornton injects glamour and style into his playful portrayal of the maniacal Transylvanian. Oliver writes one of the UK's leading lifestyle blogs Design For Living.
Designed for much more than living, Rocky is Frank-N-Furter's latest creation, a blonde haired, ridiculously tanned hunk who for the 40th anniversary is X Factor's Rhydian Roberts.
Oliver Thornton and Rhydian
Still with his signature operatic style Rhydian powers his way through the show delighting the audience, receiving screams, wolf whistles and inappropriate heckles aplenty. There are many opportunities to shout out during the show, most of which are well known and the cast can expect... others are more individual and perhaps less appropriate. If you're planning a night out and intend on participating you may wish to follow the full script of heckles. Tediously making his way through his interrupted lines is Philip Franks and the Narrator who restores order with witty comments in retaliation. Joel Montague's character is set up to receive similar audience participation.
The Phantom ensemble are made up of Maria Coyne, Christos Dante, David Gayle and Rachel Grundy with Andrew Ahern as Dance Captain. All of whom are energetic and on top form, providing eerie harmonies as they lurch around the stage.
With an exciting new set designed by Hugh Durrant this year's Rocky Horror show is the best you'll possibly see it. The show continues to tour throughout 2013 and further dates are still to be announced. Book tickets here.
Official Promotional Trailer 2013: