Musical theatre is alive and well, and continues to be a thriving business in London’s West End. A highlight of musical theatre in London recently has been The Rocky Horror Show at the Playhouse Theatre, showing throughout September. One of these performances was broadcast to 600 cinemas across the UK and Europe, and pulled in £600,000 at the box office in aid of Amnesty International. On Halloween 2015, this performance was shown on TV.
Originally written as a stage musical, The Rocky Horror Show premiered in 1973, and was adapted into a film in 1975 – The Rocky Horror Picture Show – starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. Now seen as a cult classic, the camp performances and the catchy tunes are recognisable to many generations of film fans.
On stage, with David Bedella as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Haley Flaherty as Janet and Ben Forster as Brad, these actors manage to bring the same sparkle to their roles as the film actors did all those years ago. The music is catchy, the cast have strong singing voices, and they rival each other for the most ‘hammy acting performance’ on show.
In terms of being transmitted from a live performance, which leaves it open to possible technical faults, the sound is perfectly clear, and the camera movements follow the action smoothly, without overbearing the actors. This unique performance also has several guest appearances, from Stephen Fry, Ade Edmonson, Emma Bunton, Mel Giedroyc, Anthony Head and writer Richard O’Brien, who rightly receives the biggest applause when he appears on stage.
There is only one thing which slightly removes you from the theatre action as you watch; The Rules. It appears that there are a set of rules which Rocky Horror fans follow when watching a performance. This includes shouting out during certain lines, including ‘Arsehole’ when Brad first appears, and ‘Slut’ to Janet. When you are in the theatre and can hear the audience, these remarks are part of the fun. The actors are prepared for as much to happen; being ready to leave gaps and respond appropriately. However, when watching from home, you cannot hear the audience remarks, but you can hear the witty responses from the cast. Unfortunately, it does become tiresome to hear only half the joke. This is the only issue with an otherwise flawless production.
Even in 2015, 40 years after the film’s release, the story, characters and music still hold the same unique appeal. If you enjoyed the film, or are a fan of theatre musicals, then this will not fail to disappoint. There is nothing quite like The Rocky Horror Show, and finally we have the chance to experience it in the comfort of our own homes.
If you are a Sky customer, you can view The Rocky Horror Show: Live here.
The Rocky Horror Show is about to embark on a UK tour; dates available here.
Read the article at onthebox.com