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Review: It’s time to do the Time Warp with Rocky Horror Show at Hull New Theatre

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I recommend that if you are going to the theatre this week, that you go early.  Not to avoid any traffic or queues at the door, but to people watch.  It’s Rocky Horror Show at Hull New Theatre this week and it’s great fun to sit and see the devotees of this cult musical arrive all dressed up as characters such as Frank n Furter, Brad, Janet or Riff Raff.  

Did you realise that Rocky Horror has been going for 48 years?  Looking at last night’s very enthusiastic audience, it’s popularity is nowhere near waning.

Briefly, the story is of a young couple, Brad and Janet, whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.  They saw a light on at a castle further back on the road and decide to go and see if they can borrow the telephone to call for help.  Off they go to the creepy castle and their lives will never be the same again. 

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As usual I’m not going into the plot in depth but it’s a great story, full of laughs, innuendo, and of course fantastic songs, such as “Let’s do the Time Warp”,   “Dammit Janet”,  “Sweet Transvestite”,  “Science Fiction/Double Feature”.  Of course, the audience didn’t disappoint and joined in with the Time Warp.

Another brilliant feature of this show is the interaction between the audience and Narrator, Philip Franks (Darling Buds of May/Heartbeat/Ab Fab), who brilliantly batted back to the audience.  He made an amazing narrator; he was hilarious, with impeccable timing and quick witted responses.   The banter was excellent and had the audience laughing and eating out of his hands. 

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Brad (Ore Oduba) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) were the sweet, innocent couple whose innocence was so duplicitously taken by Frank N Furter.  They played and sang their parts with beautiful innocence and protestation.  

The star of the show is always the sexy Frank N Furter in his signature basque, black panties and black stockings.  Played by Stephen Webb, he flounced deliciously around the stage with the audience following his every move.  He hilariously seduces both Brad and Janet in the famous bed scene which had us all in stitches.  

Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe), Magenta (Suzie McAdam), and Columbia (Lauren Ingram) for me don’t come into their own until later in the show.  Columbia in particular was absolutely brilliant and hilarious in the second act with her acting and dancing as she was ‘vaporised’ by Riff Raff.

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This show at this time of the theatre season is like pre-panto season for grown-ups.  It’s full of laughs, songs, dances and sex.  Not suitable for pre-teens but if you’re classed as a grown up, have a great sense of humour, get down to Hull New Theatre and see this show.  Join in with the torch phone lights, shouting at the cast, and dancing along to Time Warp.  You know you want to.

Rocky Horrow Show is at Hull New Theatre until Saturday 27 November 2021 – grab a ticket (if you can) here: hulltheatres.co.uk.

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