REVIEW: First timer at the Rocky Horror Show | Opera House Manchester

I’ve broken my Rocky Horror virginity.

That’s right. This was my first experience of the cult show and I was very excited to see what all the fuss was about. I invited my friend Michelle, a Rocky expert, to hold my hand along the way.

Within seconds of the invite, Michelle cried FANCY DRESS. Oh yes, how could I forget. Whenever it comes to town, audiences are spotted strutting the streets in black stockings, crushing corsets, doctors srubs and red lippy. My idea of dressing up for the theatre is a nice dress and pair of sandals, so I was immediately thrown out of my comfort zone.

After some discussion, I felt most in common with Janet. The innocent. Decision made and costume bought, I was already feeling the Rocky spirit. I don’t want to brag but I think we looked the part!

Rocky Horror costume Janet and Frank
Rocky Horror costume Janet and Frank

Science Fiction Double Feature

The stage show debuted in London back in 1973, and has pretty much been on tour across the globe ever since. For those who don’t live on planet Earth, it’s a comedy-horror-sexy-science-fiction Musical that follows the surreal and unearthly story of Brad and Janet.

They are a picture perfect, newly engaged couple who suffer a flat tyre and call upon support from the nearest home – a creepy castle. I’d rather eat my left arm than go inside, but like I said, they’re incredibly naive! It soon becomes a night to remember as the occupants perform wacky Frankenstein experiments and enjoy saucy sexual encounters. Brad and Janet are in for a ‘Rocky’ ride.

As Michelle put it, the first half is on speed and the second is the come down. It’s full on as the scene is set and the most memorable songs are performed. Time Warp an obvious favourite. However, the second half slows and the story gets even more bizarre.

Rocky Horror Manchester

Oh Brad, Oh Janet

Ben Adams and Joanne Clifton make for the most perfect Brad and Janet. You can tell they’ve worked together in the past (Flashdance the Musical) as they have great chemistry and look very comfortable as a duo. Both create sickly sweet caricatures of a 50s couple, totally innocent to the real world, animated with cheesy smiles and exaggerated movements. But it’s here they find their inner sexual desire. Once you pop you can’t stop, right? The opening of the second half made my jaw drop and eyes water. I’ll let you experience that one for yourself.

Rocky Horror Manchester

Over at the Frakenstein Palace

This cast may be small but wow are they mighty.

Stephen Webb oozes sex and owns his cock(y) attitude as legendary transvestite, Dr Frank N Furter. Corrie veteran Beverley Callard is a sometimes sassy Narrator, though I’m sure she’ll totally own the role once it’s been on tour a while longer.

Kristian Lavercombe has 1400 Rocky performances under his belt and it shows as his characterisation of Riff Raff is hilarious and his vocals are the stand out of the night. Callum Evans is an impressively athletic Rocky, Laura Harrison really sells the seductive side of Magneta, Columbia is as wacky as can be thanks to Miracle Chance and Ross Chisari shows perfect comedy timing as Dr Scott and Eddie.

Rocky Horror Manchester

Part Musical, part adult Panto

It really is! The audience had no problem shouting and dancing from their seats, yearning to join in with the show. Michelle explained there are moments in the script that actors expect a response. Most are the same but some give a chance to throw in some new jokes. Mainly dirty ones… This created an electric atmosphere from the get go. It was exciting to see everyone ready and raring to have some raucous fun. It’s a far cry from what I’m used to in the theatre but so much more thrilling.

Rocky Horror is a naughty, sexy and frankly ridiculous show. I can see now why audiences keep returning. It’s fantastically fabulous and oh so very freaky.

My advice as a first timer is to give it a go. Don’t go half in. Get lubed up first. Find friends, get dressed up, have a drink and loosen and liven up.

It’s touring all over the UK until 30th November, so there’s loads of chance to see it. Buy tickets here.

Have you seen the show or dressed up for it before? Let me know in the comments below.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: