04:31PM, Tuesday 10 September 2019
Photo by The Other Richard
Filthy, flirty, fun and fabulous – the Rocky Horror Picture Show has rocked up, resplendent in leather and fishnets to titillate the good people of High Wycombe.
The buzz is in the air before the curtain even rises. The naughty show is a cult classic, incredibly having run for 43 years. In its time it has amassed an army of loyal sequin-wearing fans who love nothing better than kicking up their heels, singing along and heckling the cast with well-rehearsed jibes. Seated at the front, this lot knew their lines and had remembered their props – strings of lights, confetti and whoops.... Their contribution was unexpected to me, a Rocky virgin, but hilarious, giving the performance an x-rated panto feel.
Pulling the story together and taming the crowd is narrator Philip Franks, relaxed and likeable, who takes all the jibing in his stride and more than gives as goods as he gets. There’s even a Brexit gag – very panto.
For those who don’t know the story (really???), conservative couple Brad (James Darch) and Janet-dammit (Strictly’s Joanne Clifton) are stranded after their car breaks down. Seeing the lights on at a nearby castle they of course make their way there, where they fall into the clutches of eccentric transvestite Frank N Furter and his debauched followers.
Before you know it, you are on your feet doing the Timewarp – and there’s nothing warms the heart more on a wet night in Wycombe than an audience united in a Pelvic Thrust!
This is just a warm up for when Frank N Furter makes his entrance – the crowd literally went nuts! Stephen Webb makes an excellent Frank – strutting, sexy and salacious – and confusingly gorgeous in make-up and a corset... And he’s built his own toy-boy – Rocky (gymnast Callum Evans) – a physically perfect specimen who poses and leaps about the stage, all muscle and leopard skin pants.
As well as the insanely catchy rock and roll score, the performances all round are excellent. Brad and Dammit go from cutesy couple to corrupted couple in the blink of eye; Miracle Chance and Laura Harrison bring Columbia and Magenta colourfully to life; Kristian Lavercombe is creepy-funny as Riff Raff and Ross Chasari does a good stint as both rocker Eddie and Dr Scott.
So why not dig out your corset, slap on the make-up, zip up your thigh high boots and see for yourself.
I see you shiver with anitici...pation!
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