I’ve seen the film, I’ve seen the Glee episode, and I’ve seen the 2016 remake that no one seems to talk about. However, I’ve never watched Rocky Horror live on stage, and I’ve always wanted to. So, the invitation to the press night at the Bristol Hippodrome was very well received. I made my way back to Bristol, donned a (Last minute) Janet costume and got ready to Time Warp to my heart’s content.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show first came to light as a musical in 1973, designed to parody sci-fi and horror films. It focuses on newly engaged couple Brad and Janet, who get stranded in the rain with a flat tire, and seek shelter in a castle in the woods. Cue a tranvestite, aliens, a shirtless man-made creation and amazing dance numbers.
I could try and explain it in more detail, and I could try and tell you how this musical makes sense. But honestly? It doesn’t. It’s a two hour long fever dream. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve heard stories about what watching Rocky Horror live is like, so I definitely had expectations going in. I didn’t want a typical sit-down-and-watch theatre experience: I wanted yelling and costumes and wild audience times… And Rocky Horror did not disappoint.
The second that we arrived outside, we were greeted by a sea of audience members clad in lingerie and character costumes, all raring to start watching. The second it started, it was clear that the overwhelming energy of the audience was not limited to the pre-show. There was (respectful) yelling and singing and dancing and the actors egged it on just as much as we did. It had such an involved, community feel and was generally a great laugh and a good night.
My one wish is that I had known what to yell so that I could be more involved, but I did get up and do the Time Warp.
As I said, I’d seen Rocky Horror before, and I knew how weird it was and roughly what happened, but I realised by the interval that all the songs I know well (Apart from Touch-a, touch-a, touch me) happen in the first half. So, most of the second half was spent figuring out what songs were left. Every song in Rocky Horror is intriguing, be it the lyrics, the choreography, or the fact that everybody in the audience is singing and miming along. However, as always, I have some standouts:
Is it possible to listen to this song and not want to get up and dance? It was so exciting seeing it performed live on stage, and then again in the encore.
I’ve listened to every version of this song that Spotify has to offer, and I will honestly say the Glee version is my favourite (I’m sorry.) But, I felt that Duncan James had the perfect mix between the Glee version and Tim Curry’s version, and I was 100% here for it.
I did not remember this song at all. Probably because, by the time I usually get to the end of the movie, I’m so confused yet accepting of the weirdness that I’m only half paying attention. However, I think it’s a good end song, and it’s been stuck in my head since watching.
They were all great, and I wouldn’t say that there were any weak links. Rocky Horror is very panto-style in terms of acting, and they all portrayed that style greatly. Standouts include:
Bold statement, but Duncan James may be my favourite iteration of Frank N Furter that I’ve seen. It could just be because he’s the only one I’ve seen live, but honestly I think it has more to do with his fantastic stage presence. He was so enjoyable and dynamic and I was a massive fan.
I don’t know what it was about her, but every time that Miracle Chance was on stage she made me smile. She had a fantastic energy, her Columbia voice was great and never dropped character, and her dancing was brilliant.
Whilst I think that Rocky Horror is a fantastic show, it definitely isn’t one for kids, so if you were thinking of going as a family thing, I wouldn’t. I don’t know if the tickets are age restricted as I didn’t actually buy mean, but just thought I’d warn you just in case. Also, the programs don’t have a song list, which is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to programs.
I really want to go again, but if I went I’d probably pre-drink with my friends beforehand and also learn the little bits that people shout and interact with so I could be fully involved.
YES. It’s far more than just a piece of theatre, it’s a whole experience. If you want something a bit different, but also cooky and fun, this one’s for you!
Have you seen Rocky Horror? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!
Love of love,
Hey, I'm Jasmine Burke. A girl in her twenties fresh out of Uni that's trying to write in any way that she can. I go under the branch of "lifestyle" but honestly, you can find pretty much anything on here.
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