Rocky Horror Show – Bristol Hippodrome REVIEW

“Are you a virgin?” I was asked by a man in fishnets. “Uhhhh…” I wasn’t quite sure how to answer that question.

Little did I know that there are many quirks to the Rocky Horror Show and being asked this question which translates as “Have you seen the show before?” was one of them.

Seeing the Rocky Horror show is like a rite of passage. It’s like no other show. Theatre etiquette goes out the window, there are no normal clothes, no quiet audiences, no British modesty. People shout out, heckle, wave lights, dance… you name it, it happens. If you’re used to your traditional theatre night then prepare yourself for something you’ll never expect. But that is the joy of it.

Rocky Horror started as a play and then a film was created that flopped. From then the audience created its own script by adding in cheeky heckles and comments. Euphemisms fly left, right and centre leaving the audience cackling and keeping the cast on their toes.

The World Tour 2019 has landed in Bristol and the cast and crew here to time warp their way straight to your hearts. Richard O’Briens legendary tale follows the transvestite from Transylvania as he hosts the innocent couple Brad and Janet after their car breaks down nearby. From there the chaos ensues both on stage and off.

Dom Joly is brilliant as the narrator who is endlessly heckled but handles it with ease. The comedian is integral in the production as he guides you through the wacky storyline… he can also seriously rock a pair of fishnets!

The rest of the cast strong too with Joanne Clifton and James Darch as the cutesy couple Janet and Brad. All of the cast had brilliant vocals that were featured wonderfully in some of the fantastic numbers. I mean, who doesn’t love The Time Warp?!

But Duncan James. Oh wow. Down to every tiny mannerism and facial expression, James absolutely owned the iconic role Frank N Furter, a mammoth task to take on. His smutty pout and strut was captivating and stage presence simply incredible.

His rendition of Sweet Transvestite and his kick ass finale was unforgettable. He strutted around the stage as if he was born to do drag. I feel he was actually wasted in the boyband Blue and in Hollyoaks! He was unrecognisable as Frank as he absorbed every element of the kinky, full of life transvestite. Despite being new to the cast I could help but feel like he belonged in that role.

Rocky Horror is raunchy and vulgar, iconic and bizarre, unadulterated and unrestricted, pure yet filthy fun. Under the watchful eye of Richard O’Brien this production continues to flourish. Many of the audience were seasoned experts, but whether its your first or your fiftieth visit this show will never tire, weaken or disappoint.

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