The Rocky Horror Show At Kings Theatre, Southsea Review


Reviewed by Jan Dixon

MUST SEE SHOW! BRILLIANT, INNOVATIVE, INTERACTIVE, NAUGHTY, COMICAL AND VERY LOUD!!!! These are just some of the descriptions that fit my experience of reviewing The Rocky Horror Show at The Kings Theatre, Southsea at the opening night on Monday 24th July 2023. On until 29th July 2023.

It is the 50th anniversary of the legendary musical, written by Richard O’Brien, first performed in 1973. It holds the accolade of the longest continuous run of a contemporary musical anywhere in the world and has been seen by 30 million people to date. Join the Rocky Horror ‘virgins’ or revisit and see for yourself the most exciting and interactive theatrical experience.

The show is a fanciful tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930’s to the early 1960’s. It tells the story of a new engaged couple Janet (Haley Flaherty) and Brad (Richard Meek) getting caught in a storm and arriving at the castle home of a transvestite scientist Frank N Furter (Stephen Webb). The ensuing storyline features Frank N Furter unveiling his new artificial creation Rocky (Ben Westhead), a Frankenstein-style monster in the form of a fully grown, physically perfect muscle man complete “with blond hair and a tan”. A tangled web of intrigue follows, with predatory sexual encounters between many of the cast. The overall premise is of a naïve and inexperienced couple being corrupted by the inhabitants of the castle in many convoluted and imaginative ways.

Suzie McAdam (Usherette and Magenta) introduces the show in song; performing “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, with masked Phantoms providing backing vocals (Reece Budin; Fionan O’Carroll; Beth Woodcock; Stefania Du Toit; Tyla Dee Nurden and Nathan Shaw). There is a Narrator (Philip Franks) throughout the performance who is enthusiastically welcomed by the audience every time he appears to cat-calls, cheers and innuendos; to which responses go backwards and forwards to an excited crowd.

Janet and Brad are met by live-in butler Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe), his sister Magenta and Columbia (Darcy Finden) at the home of Frank N Furter. The iconic dance number “Time Warp” is performed by many cast members, with the audience getting to their feet and wildly joining in. Indeed, there are many well known songs in the show – “Sweet Transvestite”; “I Can Make You A Man”; “Bless My Soul” (performed by Joe Allen as Eddie); “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me”; “Don’t Dream It-Be It” to name a few. Every song was expertly sung with vocal excellence by the cast, joined in by the audience. Columbia sang a solo which rendered the audience speechless with admiration at her amazing voice, followed by well-deserved applause.

This production was directed by Christopher Luscombe, with exceptional support from Nathan Wright (choreographer); Sue Blane (costumes); Set Designer – Hugh Durrant (set designer); Nick Richings (lighting designer); Gareth Owen (sound designer); Greg Arrowsmith (musical supervisor); Charlie Ingles (musical director) and Daren Ware (wig and make-up supervisor). Credit must also be given to the live musicians who performed throughout the show, showcasing their individual and collective talent.

I would thoroughly recommend this show and guarantee you will have an absolutely brilliant evening of interactive and unusual entertainment. A well-deserved standing ovation was given to the performers, who certainly looked as if they enjoyed the show as much as the very appreciative audience. Do dress up for the occasion; as many of the attendees did and you will certainly be more immersed in the Rocky Horror experience!
Rating: This is very much worth a 5 star rating.

Written by Jan Dixon on behalf of WGTD.

The show is on from Monday 24th July – Saturday 29th July 2023

Tickets cost from £23.00

For more information or to book tickets please visit The Rocky Horror Show – Kings Theatre Portsmouth (

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