“A night of exuberant joy “
**** 4 Stars
48 years under its suspender belt and still touring the world with its pastiche of the B Movies and rock and roll there is no greater a night of exuberant joy in the theatre than Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Which once again comes to Edinburgh, but instead of the massive Playhouse Frank N Furter and his gang of cross dressing misfits take to the stage of the King’s giving audience a rare and much welcomed intimate performance of the generation defying show!
The 2022 world tour production finds the show in fine form, with Stephen Webb putting on the high heels to play a vampy yet glorious Frank N Furter that is the centre of story of excess but ultimately just wanting to be loved.
The central couple of Brad (Ore Oduba) and Janet (a sublime Haley Flaherty)are well delivered, especially with the vast array of heckles from the audiences. Although Oduba slightly under delivers as Brad he needs to give it a little more oomph to get the most out of the character but he is clearly a triple threat turning in a solid performance none the less.
Speaking of heckles, the role of the Narrator falls to Philip Franks who is on blistering form delivering comedy pelters freshly drawn from the latest news headlines and ensures and gives the whole production a great comedy edge.
Kristian Lavercombe is back as Riff Raff he must be truly be the consummate performer of the character and matches up to creator O’Brien as the only actor to come close to immolating his greatness. Special Mention must go to Suzie McAdam who does double duty as the “Usherette) and “Magenta” her voice soars around the King’s and bookends the show wonderfully.
Ben Westhead takes on the role of “Rocky” and gives it a real sense childlike innocence that almost totally refreshes the roll and boy can he pull off a pair of fishnet stockings and high heels.
Director Christopher Luscombe has delivered the goods, getting to the heart of what Rocky Horror is and what it means to its audiences, although now its shortest form to date coming in at 2 hours with a 20 minute interval he has set the cast a blistering pace but it works. The same is true of Nathan M Wright’s Choreography which includes an awesome time warp, he is elaborates on this classic but does it justice as do those performing it.
Huge Durrant’s Set still stands up well especially in the intimate setting of the Kings, although it took an ASM to make a cameo to haul a door closed, maybe this set isn’t use to the rake of the King’s! Add to that Nick Richings spot on Lighting design and Gareth Owen sound design that ensures Greg Arrowsmith excellent 5 piece band can truly rock the King’s and beyond.
The Rocky Horror show has secured its legacy in musical theatre and that evident by the audiences who return time and again to this cult classic! So what you waiting for! dig out the fish nets find those stilettos and get to the King’s and Time Warp again!
Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, King’s Theatre Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 26th February, for tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/the-rocky-horror-show