Storyhouse, Chester – until Saturday 4 March 2023
Reviewed by Jenniefer Daly
I wasn’t prepared for my first experience of Rocky Horror. I realised this when walking through the renowned cobbled historical steps of Chester, feared by all in stilettos, ….. all except the group of 12 men and women dressed in basques, stockings, maid outfits and sparkles galore, sashaying their 6 inch heels through those same cobbles at 6pm on a Monday night. These 12 were met by more than half of the faithful audience dressed in similar spectacular costumes …. and so the outrageous fun commenced!
From the mid 1970’s , Richard O’Brien’s raucous, sci-fi musical has graced the international stage and director Christopher Luscome delighted the Chester audience with a jaw dropping, hilarious, explosion of all things glitter, satin, fishnet, leather and feather. This really was a hilarious performance and outstanding musical masterpiece accompanied by a superb live band.
Nerdy Brad (Richard Meek) and innocent Janet (Haley Flaherty) delivered superb vocals and authentic chemistry as the American sweethearts travelling on that fateful journey to visit their science teacher. Innocence and ‘neediness’ is soon spectacularly whipped away by a chance visit to Stephen Webb’s outstanding Frank n Furter, the very eccentric self proclaimed sweet transvestite villain, which erupts the eager audience into the classic Time Warp with tremendous audience participation delivering waves of gyrating underwear clad hips, belonging to that of of ages.
This performance was full of fun, phenomenal vocals, spectacular costumes and impressive set changes. The bedroom scene in particular had the audience in fits of hysterics and those faithful followers in the crowd hustled and jeered in true Rocky Horror style. This is a cult classic, it has an audience as well rehearsed in the script as the cast and the call backs were delivered and responded to hilariously, particularly by RSC and BBC radio voice Philip Franks as Narrator. His one liners, brow raising jokes and come backs were nothing short of genius.
This is a must see. It’s a thoroughly entertaining, raucous performance, like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I can’t wait to go again!