The Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 23rd February 2019.
Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth
Picture this…an auditorium full of people dressed up in stockings, suspenders and such like, large groups of men and women drinking, laughing and singing, excitement that is so evident you can almost smell it and more audience participation than you could shake a stick at. That is what you will find at the theatre for these performances.
Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical returns to the UK as part of a sell-out worldwide tour, having now been seen by over 30 million theatregoers. With a new set and a fresh super talented cast, this is a tour that you don’t want to miss.
Rocky Horror follows the story of two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet. When by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank’n’Furter…it’s an adventure they’ll never forget!
The short running time of 1 hour 50 minutes means that each half of this show is absolutely cram-packed with all your Rocky Horror favourite hits, including, Over at the Frankenstein Place, Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite. The show is also full of gags, laughs and those old double entendres…a true comedy with some up to date references and of course, Brexit gets a mention.
Ben Adams (from band A1) is cast as Brad and plays the part perfectly. He has a superb musical theatre voice and really shines in this production. Joanna Clifton (Strictly Come Dancing) takes on the role of Janet. Clifton has such defined and strong dance skills but just occasionally lacks some diction in her voice, albeit powerful and not faltering, note wise.
Stephen Webb makes a great Frank N Furter and well suited to his part, but maybe a little too over the top, if that is even possible for this role?! Callum Evans runs perfectly with his role of Rocky, he was just designed for this part with his gymnastic ability!
A real stand out performance comes from Kristian Lavercombe playing Riff-Raff, he is charismatic and charming with a unique quality to his voice. Star of the show really must go to the narrator played by Philip Franks…he really does come prepared for the unprepared nature of this role, taking on some real profanities shouted out during the audience participation.
This tour has a new look set, coming from set designer Hugh Durrant, it works really well, managing to keep the eyes alert and busy during the scene changes. Costumes (Sue Blane), which are potentially one of the most important parts of this production, since the musical began, are all as close to the original as possible; truly flamboyant, risqué and over the top.
This tour of Rocky Horror will not disappoint whether you are a die-hard fan, new to the show or simply a fan of the music…