Reviewed by Elly Sax
If sequins, fishnet stockings, and flamboyance are your bag then Rocky Horror Show needs to be on your list of things to see this summer. I first saw the Rocky Horror Show at my best friend’s sleepover in 1991, if I’m honest I didn’t really understand it, but I fell in love with the costumes and the sheer theatrics of the show, not to mention the amazing songs. Over the years I have dressed up as various characters for fancy dress parties, sung songs from the show on karaoke and danced the Time Warp incredibly badly. I have, however, never seen it live…until now! When I was offered the opportunity to attend The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham to witness this iconic musical live on stage to say I was excited would be a huge understatement. I absolutely loved it and think anyone looking for a ‘feel good’ show to help put the last 18 months of theatreless gloom behind them need look no further, Rocky Horror Show has it all and isn’t afraid to shout about it.
The Rocky Horror Show was first performed in 1973 and has spent nearly 50 years as a fan favourite, it centres around the character of Dr Frank N Furter, played in this production by Stephen Webb, a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. In his quest to find the perfect partner he creates Rocky, played by Callum Evans, who he introduces to his unexpected house guests Janet and Brad. The young naive couple stumble upon the castle on the hill where Frank and his phantoms live when their car breaks down. It is safe to say their lives will never be the same again. Janet is played by Haley Flaherty and I was blown away by her singing voice. Such a strong stage presence and you really felt like you were on a journey with her character, from sweet virginal newly engaged girl to a sexually awoken woman. Her other half Brad was played by Ore Oduba, I had followed him on Strictly Come Dancing but never seen him perform live. Now I have, it is clear to see why he was chosen for the role, I already knew his dancing would be good but didn’t realise he had such a good singing voice too. It may seem silly but my favourite character was the narrator, Philip Franks, he made dealing with hecklers look effortless, you should be forewarned that in a show like this heckling is not frowned upon, in fact, it is actively encouraged. The quick one liners had me laughing and clapping, the set design was clever and really well thought through, costumes were designed to make the best use of colour and it was great to see the cast looking like they were really enjoying themselves.
The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham have put a huge amount of effort into making sure their venue is Covid secure. The information I received prior to my visit was comprehensive and I knew exactly what to expect once we arrived for the show. The QR code for logging our visit was clearly displayed for us to scan when we entered the building. Although not legally required the theatre did advise patrons to wear their masks inside the building and staff members throughout the venue were wearing masks. Most people seemed to choose to wear their masks throughout their entire visit which I found reassuring. The toilets and hand washing facilities were very clean and there were plenty of accessible toilets available. The cloakrooms were closed but I was advised of this prior to our arrival at the theatre and it really wasn’t an issue to keep my jacket and bag with me, particularly as the seats we had booked were incredibly roomy. We sat in the stalls and the view of the stage was great, even with a tall man in front of me wearing a fabulous glittery wig. There was plenty of space to pop my bag by my feet without feeling like it was in the way and the seats were very comfy too which was great, although we were up and out of them dancing at various points throughout the show. It is so lovely to have theatres back open and I am so happy to be able to get back to seeing live theatre and supporting the arts again.
Tickets cost from £20.50 – £45.50 plus discounts for Theatre Royal Nottingham Members* Under 16s, Under 26s, Groups, and Rocky Horror Fan Club available
Rocky Horror Show is at Royal Concert Hall Nottingham from Monday 9th August 2021 – Sunday 15th August 2021
For more information or to book tickets visit www.trch.co.uk or call the box office on 0115 989 5555
*Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham Royal Membership scheme offers benefits including ticket discounts and exclusive pre-sales. For more information please visit www.trch.co.uk/membership