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The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show is 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 is an adventure they’ll never forget, filled with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, The Rocky Horror Show is ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, and features timeless classics including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic thrusting show stopping Time Warp.

Watch our "In Conversation with Joe Allen" video discussing the show.

The Rocky Horror Show Tickets

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Tue 3 Dec 2024 - Sat 4 Jan 2025

Our review on The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show - Opera House, Manchester - Tuesday 23rd January 2024 by Lizzie Johnston

Our Rating
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW IS AN INFECTIOUS, TIMELESS MASTERPIECE THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Corsets, fishnets and red lipstick can only mean one thing - The Rocky Horror Show. The cult classic, created by Richard O’Brien, has transported from Transylvania back again to the Manchester Opera House. The plot follows the adventures of Brad and Janet, a newly engaged couple who stumble upon the bizarre castle of Dr. Frank N Furter, a mad scientist from another planet. What unfolds is a wild ride of seduction, science fiction, and rock 'n' roll.

The electrifying rollercoaster of glam, gender-bending, and pure unadulterated fun has captivated audiences for decades and there’s no wonder this show has left a huge mark in the world of theatre. From the very start when the house lights go down and the band begins to play,the audience are roaring with excitement and anticipation, despite many knowing exactly what to expect having been before. 

There’s a certain aura around this show and it doesn’t matter what you wear, who you are or even what day it is, every audience member just wants to have fun. It’s rare in theatre to see a show like this, where a lively audience is not just expected but encouraged making it an experience as a whole. 

The set can simply be described as fabulous, with glitter curtains, multicoloured lights and a mezzanine hidden behind a giant film strip; it’s extravagant yet not over the top. The costumes are exactly what you expect and what the audience love, each character dressed in their iconic looks that even a few audience members rivalled. The look of sequins, basques and high heels contrasted the innocent and fairly plain costumes of Janet and Brad, not forgetting the gorgeous makeup looks of dark eyes and red lips. It’s pretty clear for the audience to see that Janet and Brad are far out of their comfort zone and completely lost.  

Janet, played by Haley Flaherty (The Mousetrap, Travels With My Aunt, Matilda), at first seems sweet and almost shy, but this doesn’t last long as she undergoes a full transformation of character as she embraces the world of Rocky Horror. She’s trusting and loving of her fiance Brad, played by Richard Meek (Hairspray, Annie, Thoroughly Modern Milly), who despite being unnerved by the whole situation, attempts to stay brave for her; but he too discovers a new side to himself. 

There’s no Rocky Horror Show without the iconic Frank N Furter, played by Stephen Webb (Titanic, Rothschild & Sons, Wonderland), who brings a new level of energy to the show. Webb’s Frank N Furter is strong-minded, quick-witted, and captivates the audience with equal parts of charm and mischief. The sweet transvestite from Transylvania is the show's magnetic force who leads a quirky ensemble including Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia. 

The first moment where I realised this was not an ordinary night at the theatre is when Philip Franks (Witness for the Prosecution, Art, Noises Off) entered the stage as the Narrator. His improvisation and comical comebacks to audience shoutouts had the auditorium roaring with laughter and cheers. Every time he commanded the stage, his comedy was timely, relevant and entertaining. It geared the audience up perfectly for any opportunity to participate in the show, particularly for the unforgettable ‘Time Warp’, a tune and dance known by many that got us all jumping out of our chairs. 

The show itself is a dazzling fusion of pop and rock with anthems including "Sweet Transvestite," and "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me", which are songs that have transcended the stage and are now a firm part of pop culture. It’ll have you toe-tapping along and leave you singing the tunes for the next week, they’re just so catchy and fun. 

The Rocky Horror Show is an infectious timeless masterpiece. It embraces the weird and wonderful in a gender-bending celebration of liberation and self-expression - no wonder it’s a well loved cult classic! Whether you’ve seen it several times, have only seen the movie version or have never seen it at all, the stage show is an experience you don’t want to miss. 


WE SCORE THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW...




WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH JOE ALLEN

Our review on The Rocky Horror Show

Rocky Horror Show - Manchester Opera House - Monday 20th February 2023 by Karen Ryder

Our Rating
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW KEEPS ON RETURNING AS IT KEEPS ON GIVING AND THE FANS LOVE IT!

Rocky Horror definitely has us caught in a Time Warp because this is the 3rd time it has visited Manchester in 18 months, and its hard-core fans show no sign of slowing down their eagerness to be a part of this cultastic phenomenon.  The last time I saw Rocky Horror was August 2021, when The Opera House re-opened after COVID restrictions, and I have never experienced an atmosphere like it.  It was the perfect re-opening, full of freedom, abandonment, and the desire to just live life.  It’s possibly the best party atmosphere I’ve ever experienced in a theatre.  I will never forget that evening, and so I couldn’t help but feel a little hesitant that, despite the epic proportions of Rocky Horror, my lasting adrenaline fuelled memory of the show could only make any future performances pale in comparison.  But this is Rocky Horror, it doesn’t do second best – even to itself!  And whilst that hot August night in 2021 will always hold a special place in my theatre loving heart, tonight was ready to blast the winter blues away and set this cold Manchester night on fire!




So for those innocents out there yet to have their Rocky Horror cherry burst, here’s the story so far.  Brad and Janet, the seemingly quintessential all American couple, have had a little car trouble.  They seek refuge from the lashing rain in the nearest house as they simply try to use the phone to call for assistance.  Instead, they meet a whole host of eclectic residents who awaken their twee outlook on life, in every way possible.  As Brad and Janet experience the more pleasurable aspects of life, the master of the house Frank-N-Furter is building a little plaything by the name of Rocky.  But Rocky wants to play with Janet and Frank-N-Furter doesn’t like to share any toys.  Bang on cue, an earlier experimental plaything by the name of Eddie returns for revenge, but instead finds himself for the chop, because nobody gets the better of Frank-N-Furter.  Frank gets more and more demanding, petulant and insatiable, until trusted phantoms Riff Raff and Magenta grow weary of the games.  The phantomesque brother and sister take over and through a sea of leopard print hot pants, pink rubber gloves, science labs, lab coats, suspenders, tap shoes, sequins, glitter and sex, transport the entire house back to their home planet of Transexual Transylvania.  Got it?  Good! 



The plot may sound random, and that’s because it kind of is, but its messages are not.  Be who you want to be, love who you want to love, ‘Give yourself over to absolute pleasure’ and do it all to a soundtrack that ignites every fibre of your being into an irresistible frenzy of indulgence, where you will feel the feels like you’ve never felt them before!  If you’ve never seen Rocky Horror before, your eyes will be opened to a unique form of theatre, where the audience play just as much a part of the show as the hard-working cast, and for the rest of you Rocky loving pleasure seekers – welcome home.



This set design is slick, quick and satisfying (a bit like Frank-N-Furter!)  Designed by Hugh Durrant, it involves revolving panels that with a simple flip turn the mansions main living room into a science lab and back again.  A film reel wraps itself around the set above the casts heads, drawing your attention to the fantastically talented band, who keep the audience revved up all night.  The lights (Nick Richings) are mesmerising, flashing rainbow disco lights, lasers that beam directly into the audience and penetrate into your Rocky loving heart.  Director Christopher Luscombe takes Richard O’Brien’s script to new heights in this 50th celebratory tour, allowing the cast the freedom to breathe and work with the emitting heckles and “script additions” from the enthusiastic audience.  The cast take it all in their stride and as each of them took to the stage for the first time, they received a round of applause for just being a part of this fan favourite production.  Stephen Webb (Titanic, Wonderland, Jersey Boys) played Frank-N-Furter when I last saw the show in August 2021, and he has somehow upped his presence even further, which I didn’t think possible.  He is so at ease and relaxed with this role that all you have to do is enjoy his performance (I think that’s what Brad and Janet did too!)  He more than commands the stage, the audience and walks better in high heels than I do!  His voice is sublime, and I think he will be a Rocky fan favourite for years to come.  Haley Flaherty (The Mousetrap, Matilda, Love Never Dies) was also in the last production I saw as Janet and again just seems so at ease with the entire show.  She is sweet, innocent, raunchy, naive, and belts out her numbers with a voice so powerful, yet equally gentle when needed.  Amazing vocal skills.  Her Brad is performed by Richard Meek (Hairspray, Annie, The Producers) who is the perfect blustering partner.  He’s created Brad so that we don’t laugh at him, but instead we laugh with him, gaining his laughter from his gorgeous portrayal of this kind-hearted, innocent and nerdy young thing.  Reece Boudin (Matilda, La Cage Aux Follies) takes on the audience as the Narrator and has everyone belly laughing at his cool and collected come backs, where he even pokes fun at himself and has us falling in love with his cheeky charm.  Suzie McAdam (Local Hero, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde) as Magenta also starts the whole show as the Usherette and belts out Science Fiction with a passion reciprocated by the audience.  She is strong and full of sass.  With well over 2000 performances, Kristian Lavercombe (Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Urinetown) who was tonight’s Riff Raff, has performed in Rocky Horror more than anyone else in its 50 year history and it shows because he is flawless and the second his head popped onto stage through a circular window, it was clear he was loved by this huge Rocky fan base.  His voice is crystal clear and the range is out of this world!  Ben Westhead as Rocky is an advert for body confidence, for he spends the entire show in nothing but a pair of underpants!  He never looks uncomfortable and bursts to life with an energy and a refreshing purity that suited the role wonderfully.  I have to say, this was one of my favourite Rocky interpretations ever.  Darcy Finden as Columbia and Joe Allen as Eddie and Dr. Scott complete the main cast like the missing pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, because this cast is a unit and seem so relaxed and in tune with each other that a certain, intangible vibe permeates the theatre.



As the entire audience stood up to dance to The Time Warp, a dance that even if it were their first Rocky experience, everybody already knew the moves to, I got to thinking what a unique element of the show this was.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other show where the audience know the moves to a musical number before they have even entered the theatre and are then invited to join in!  I just love it!  The audience is as much a part of a Rocky Horror show as the cast themselves, and this is mainly down to one person – Sal Piro, who sadly passed away last month.  Sal was a Rocky Horror legend and started its fan club in 1977, eventually growing its popularity so much to become the voice of the Rocky Horror community.  He was in the original Rocky audience and is credited with the development of the audience participation and cult status we now know and love today.  I’m sure Sal would have loved tonight’s performance and was leading the audience yells in declaring Janet a slut and Brad an a-hole!!  Rocky is, and forever will be a hot patootie of a show!  It is a show that has no boundaries, makes no apologies and makes audiences return time and time again, because Rocky Horror is a “light in the darkness, of everybody’s life.”   

 

WE SCORE ROCKY HORROR SHOW...





Our review on The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show - Palace Theatre, Manchester - Monday 17th January 2022 by Lindsay Harris

Our Rating

It’s been about 15 years since I last donned my Magenta costume and went to see The Rocky Horror Show so I was very excited to be invited last night to the first night of the Manchester show. It was a night I’d remember for a very long time………

There wasn’t as many costumed audience members as I’d hoped but there were some great efforts made, the audience was a little quiet at first and there were several empty seats so I was worried that the atmosphere wouldn’t be as high energy as usual and I felt for the cast. However as Suzie McAdam belted out the opening number Science Fiction – Double Feature the audience began to warm up, her strong vocals certainly helped.

If you’re a Rocky regular you’ll know the importance of the audience participation and it was all there with some interesting ‘current affairs’ comments thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t disappointed. The narrator Phillip Franks was definitely the audience favourite, he was hilarious and responded to the audience perfectly with some very quick and funny ad libs. He had the biggest cheer of the night and it was certainly deserved.

Ore Odube as Brad and Haley Flaherty as Janet played their parts well and impressed with their vocals in ‘Damn In Janet’ and ‘There’s a Light Over at The Frankenstein Place’.

Stephen Webb was one of the best Franks that I’ve seen, belting out Sweet Transvestite in his fish nets and suspenders, he arrived on stage to cheers and applause and he played the audience perfectly, navigating the comments thrown at him with skill and again some fast ad libs.

By the time the first rendition of the Time Warp hit the stage the whole audience was on their feet and fully warmed up. I cannot praise the cast enough for turning around a quieter audience in a theatre that wasn’t full into a lively fully involved audience. Nothing lacked in atmosphere, and it was all down to the skill and energy of the cast with some amazing strong vocals and brilliant choreography.

It was as expected and hoped downright rude and not for a young audience, it was hilarious, great fun and a great night for all involved. As we left we saw some ladies outside still doing the Time Warp, I think everyone left having had a great night, I certainly did. Rude, hilarious, great tunes, amazing cast and the most fun you’ll have with your clothes on, well your fishnets. If you’re a die hard fan like me then don’t miss it and if you’ve never experienced Rocky before then do yourself a favour, get your friends together, dig out your fishnets, learn how to Time Warp and catch it before it leaves town. You won’t be disappointed.

Our review on The Rocky Horror Show

Rocky Horror Show - Opera House, Manchester - Tuesday 24th August 2021 by Karen Ryder

Our Rating

“Let’s do the time warp again!”……and again and again because tonight’s show was just sensational.  I’m not sure how to write this review without sounding like an over excited teenager having just seen their favourite boy band because I’m gushing with superlatives, my ears are ringing, my heart is pounding and I’m full of adrenalin.

I was asked by a friend who had somehow lived a Rocky Horror Show free life, “What is it?  And who is Rocky?”  How to answer that question?  How to prepare someone?  My misplaced attempts at describing the show ranged from, “Rocky is a creature built by an alien from Transexual Transylvania who wears gold shorts and body glitter,” to “It’s panto for adults - on steroids!” and “It’s the modern, more randy version of Frankenstein!”  All my answers were met with the look of someone who thought I’d lost the plot, and so I stole my final answer directly from the show and said, “Don’t dream it. Be it.”

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Well tonight’s cast certainly made the dream of live theatre come true.  This show has a huge following and ant…..ic…….ipation was clinging to every ounce of flesh that was on show from the audience before the curtain had even gone up.  A huge cheer and round of applause greeted the audience member who dressed up as Frank N Furter as he entered the auditorium (for those who have yet to witness this, it involves a corset, suspenders, stockings and not much else).  This audience were ready to party and have fun.

As the curtain rose to reveal the Usherette, the audience went wild, a mixture of finally being allowed out to play again and the pure love for all things Rocky Horror.  It was theatre-oke.  If you knew the words – you joined in, loud and proud.  The Opera House was back in action and the audience was going make sure the whole of Manchester knew it.  

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I’ve seen Rocky Horror a few times over the years, but this cast and production was the slickest dream team yet.  From the advertising, I knew that Ore Oduba was to play Brad but had no idea of further casting, so I was thrilled to find out that musical theatre legend Stephen Webb was Frank N Furter and the insanely talented Phillip Franks was to play the Narrator.  Every cast member deserves recognition (Haley Flaherty, Joe Allen, Lauren Ingram, Suzie McAdam, Kristian Lavercombe, Ben Westhead, Darcy Finden, Reece Budin, Jordan Fox, Rachel Grundy, Danny Knott, Stefania Du Toit) for this was truly an ensemble piece.  It was wonderful to read in the programme that some of these performers were being given their professional debut break in this production.  A huge shout out to all the musicians and production team members too.

Ore Oduba has found his true home in musical theatre.  He is engaging, sharp, witty and can sing and dance with the ease of the greats like Gene Kelly. Stephen Webb commands the stage with his mere presence and fits the role as perfectly as his hands fit his pink rubber gloves!  Haley Flaherty is engagingly brilliant as the innocent / bad girl Janet.  Phillip Franks has the audience eating out of the palm of his hands, and whilst it may seem that the audience has control as they shout out the numerous “prepared filthy and friendly heckles” or “script enhancements,” depending on which way you choose to look at it (and believe me, in this show, it’s all about which way you choose to look at it!) Phillip Franks is the one who is in control at all times.  His come backs are current, hilarious, and add that extra special layer that Rocky Horror is known for.  There was even a Boris Johnson impersonation and a playful insult thrown out to Jeremy Clarkson!

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But be in no doubt, there is one more cast member in this production we haven’t yet talked about – the audience.  The audience have always played a vital role in the live Rocky Horror productions.  It is expected, it is encouraged, and the show wouldn’t be the same without it.  As I said, I’ve seen this show a few times before but tonight there was plenty of new “audience additions” that I hadn’t heard before.  It’s great to see an audience evolving with it’s show, keeping it fresh and still loving it so much after all these years.

However, if you’ve never seen The Rocky Horror Show live before, fear not.  This audience are friendly.  They will welcome you as one of their own and get you through it until the sword of Damocles is no longer hanging over your head.  Full disclosure though, it is dripping with innuendo, sexual references and a care free attitude so you may not want to watch it with your dear sweet Aunt Alice, (though never say never!  Who knows what dear sweet Aunt Alice may have hidden away in her wardrobe!)  It does come with a guidance of aged 12 plus and I’d agree this is a wise move.

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Simply put, Rocky Horror show is packed with all the timeless classics we have come to know and love and is a guaranteed party night out, with sequins, feather boa’s and dancing in the aisles.  It’s unapologetic.  It’s fierce.  It’s astounding………time is fleeting……….madness takes it’s toll.  And remember – it’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the ri..iii..iii…iyyyy.iiight!  Let’s do the time warp again!!!!!  Well??  What are you waiting for?!

WE SCORE ROCKY HORROR SHOW - 10/10!!!

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