We often need to nip to the loo in the interval of a show or before. You know – for a quick wee. But it isn’t quite so often one encounters five burly blokes corseted and be-stockinged and all dressed and made up as transsexual Frank-N-Furter at the urinals! Thank goodness they aren’t all doing ‘The Time Warp’ song and dance at the same time as weeing! Things could get messy and they could easily slip in those high heels.
Yes, this reviewer is dressed up too for Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show – as the narrator. With quite a few of the first night audience at Nottingham Theatre Royal dressed as one of the characters from the enormously popular show the atmosphere is electric before the show even starts. The fun is evident with groups whooping and cheering as their ‘perfectly normal’ work colleagues or mates arrive at their seats all dressed up like a mini cast of the show they are about to enjoy.
Rocky Horror has a huge fan base and loyal following and this touring production rewards the fans ‘ant-ici-pation’ big time. Everything the audience expect from a top class production is here right from the singing usherette beginning to the thunderous applause and standing ovation at the end.
The stellar cast are in wicked control of any banter from the audience and Steve Punt makes for a very humourous Narrator. Even though he may have heard a lot of the audience jokes before he makes them seem fresh and original in his responses, like they have just caught him off guard.
Brad and Janet (understudy Ben Kerr and Diana Vickers) are just perfect as the naïve young couple who stumble across Frank-N-Furter’s Gothic mansion whilst escaping from a thunderstorm. Both of them revel in their brilliantly funny parts and don’t hold back in the uproariously sexy bedroom scene with Frank-N-Furter.
Liam Tamne makes the outrageous Frank-N-Furter his very own, camping it up enough to please any Rocky Horror Show fan and Tamne is fully in command of his strong voice as well as bringing a great deal of naughty humour to his role and to the piece in general.
It is testament to the genius of Richard O’Brien’s creation that the actors involved are just as big fans of the show as are the audience and one of the highlights of this production is the obvious glee that actor Kristian Lavercombe puts into his portrayal of the wacky slave (servant!!) Riff Raff. Even more amazing is that he has played the role over a thousand times and says he never tires of it.
Columbia and Magenta (Sophie Linder-Lee and Kay Murphy) are a dynamic pair and light up the stage whenever they are called to perform. Murphy as the cheeky Magenta proves particularly popular with the Nottingham audience as she deliberately milks her part. The familiarity and execution of Magenta’s tap dance routine delights the audience.
Rocky (Dominic Anderson) is terrific fun and has super fit body that a lot of beer bellied men pretend they once had and he brings some great vocals to his character as well as the Charles Atlas muscle poses and confusion of his being.
The entire ensemble look like they are thoroughly enjoying themselves on stage and their enthusiasm and talents make going to the theatre for a raucously funny night out an absolute pleasure. Set designer Hugh Durrant has designed a practical and very witty set for this show including allusions to the world of film with a large frieze of faux film frames topping the mansion set.
The Ambassador Theatre Group’s touring production pulls out all the stops with this top class production of the Rocky Horror Show directed by Christopher Luscombe. The live band with MD Ben Van Tienen are a superb accompaniment to the action and singers with levels enough to feel powerful but not overpowering. From the huge applause at the finale and calls for “Encore!” Nottingham Theatre Royal have a massive popular hit on their hands this week. Now where was the loo before one goes home?
Reviewer: Phil Lowe
Rocky Horror Show runs until Saturday 30th April at Nottingham Theatre Royal.
Eager to include the fan base Phil Lowe of East Midlands Theatre.com went back to the theatre on Tuesday night to capture more images of the fans. See below.
Thanks everyone for posing and I hope that you liked my review and the show of course. Please share with your friends and family and kindly spread the word about http://www.eastmidlandstheatre.com