★★★★ | The Rocky Horror Show takes the audience on a strange journey, as Brad and Janet, two ordinary high school kids, have a little car trouble and end up at the castle of Frank-N-Furter; a cross dressing scientist cum force of nature, on the evening that he is to bring his Frankenstein-esque playmate, complete with “dark hair and a tan” to life. Featuring the songs The Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature, I’m Going Home and Dammit, Janet; will things ever be the same for our two high school sweethearts?Photo Credit – Sean Webb
The role of Frank-N-Furter is so iconic, that you need a larger than life personality to fill the fishnets, and Liam Tamne does a great job blending Frank’s camptastic alluring persona whilst maintaining an underlying gruffness in his vocal performance of the songs, whilst Richard Meek excelled as Brad, particularly in his rendition of Once In A While. Dominic Andersen was the personification of perfection as he filled out the gold hot pants of Rocky, and Norman Pace (of Hale and Pace fame) traded quips with the audience as the Narrator. Sadly, Kristian Lavercombe was a slightly too shouty Riff Raff and Paul Cattermole (S Club 7) was nothing more than functional as Eddie/Dr Scott.
Rocky Horror is presented here in all its gloriously loud, brash, colourful, neon Day-Glo garishness, with a set which looks luxurious and holds an almost cartoon-like feel to it; all accompanied by an excellent lighting design by Nick Richings which flooded the stage in reds, greens and purples, and some steady direction by Christopher Luscombe. But within that polished veneer, it loses some of the darker undertones of the piece, leaving it with a slight hint of almost being a caricature of itself. The slight stumbling block of this production is that, ironically, it is done so well.
But that said, the show is a phenomenon, and the atmosphere at any Rocky Horror performance is one which has to be experienced. This production is a fresh take on a classic show and one which engages the audience like no other. So pull on your fishnet stockings, warm up your vocal chords and go and “give yourself over to absolute pleasure”.
The Rocky Horror Show is at Sheffield Lyceum (www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk), who has just launched their new season, until Saturday 25th June 2016 before continuing on its national tour until the end of the year. See www.rockyhorror.co.uk for full details.
In between visits to the theatre, watching films, photography, walking, scuba diving and singing (badly); Paul writes for TheGayUK.