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Belgrade review: The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, to Oct 8

Review by Heidi Barber

The original London production of this musical was premièred at the Royal Court Theatre in 1973 but it was the film release (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) in 1975 that catapulted this show to cult status.

Written by, and starring Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff, the film grossed 226 million US dollars. It also famously starred Meatloaf in the role of Eddy.

O’Brien wrote the story as a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s but almost 50 years ago, it was the fluid sexuality depicted in the show that proved to be groundbreaking.

On a stormy night, a flat tyre leaves lovers Brad and Janet stranded. But when they seek help in a nearby castle belonging to the mysterious Frank-N-Furter, strange incidents begin to occur.

I have seen the Rocky Horror Show before on several occasions, but I don’t ever remember it being quite like this!

From the opening note of the first chorus of the first song, Science Fiction, a sea of arms appeared in front of me, waving enthusiastically in time to the music. It was clear that there were many RHS devotees in the audience.

Stephen Webb was fabulous as the eccentric transvestite, Frank-N-Furter, and his razor-sharp retorts to the heckles from the audience were hilarious, as were those of the narrator (Stefano Guerriero). Even our current prime minister got a mention at one point.

Other fun moments included a highly entertaining bedroom scene which was not at all what it appeared to be, meaning that everyone was up for some surprises.

From the titillating costumes to the frenetic dance moves, this show was hot, hot, hot! When the cast delivered the iconic hit The Time Warp, it felt like pelvic thrusts would never be the same again. Not only were Brad and Janet in for a night to remember. We all were!

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