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Reviewed: 'extreme theatre' at Curve as Rocky Horror plays this week

There was lots of gyrating...

Vulgar, outrageous, despicable and grotesque! The Rocky Horror Show could not have satisfied its Curve audience any harder.

It began in 1975 when The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released on the big screen. It started a cult phenomenon that smashed gender boundaries out of the park. If you haven’t seen the film (why?), you must at least be familiar with the timeless Time Warp dance moves and the iconic costumes and makeup. Leicester fans came prepared to get involved in extreme theatre at Curve last night in flashy outfits and quips at the ready.

Shouting obscenities in the middle of a hushed theatre takes guts and these Rocky Horror fans certainly have them. Their witty remarks did not falter the Narrator played by Philip Franks. It was the Narrator who really set the scene for the themes of vulgarity and sexual banter and he became an eagerly antici...(yes I’m doing this)...pated character for the audience to welcome back on stage.

And then came the sex scenes. With hilarious but should-I-be-watching episodes, Christopher Luscombe isn't afraid to be shocking. Let's just say they involved lots of gyrating.

Stephen Webb is perfect in the role of Frank N Furter. You simply cannot take your eyes off him. Webb is a natural at captivating the audience, especially in the raunchy Sweet Transvestite. Ore Oduba as Brad and Haley Flaherty as Janet were just as we wanted them: perfectly perfect Americans ready to be tainted. They performed incredible solos beyond expectation of their meek characters. Lauren Ingram as the Frank N groupie Columbia has a sensational voice and really stole the show at several points. And Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff and Suzie McAdam as Magenta made the perfect sibling match and lived up to the weirder-than-weird roles.

The bond must be a strong one between the performers and their musical director Greg Arrowsmith. Sound effects were reeled off with legendary precision pounding the sound of whip cracking, rumbling thunder, deafening rock and roll, and quirky little computer noises, all in total sync with actors’ movements and routines.

The music literally thunders through the audience, and with remarkable lighting effects too, it’s all a bit overwhelming. And that’s exactly how we like it.

Rocky Horror Show isn’t here to have us sat politely sat in our seats waiting for the right time to whoop and applaud. Get up on your feet, interact with the actors, dress appropriately (in whatever the hell you like!), and do the Time Warp at Curve.

See Rocky Horror at Curve until Saturday January 15.

The show will then tour to cities across the UK including Peterborough and Northampton.


Written by Kerry Smith

Kerry is editor of Cross Production's Niche Magazine in Leicester and has a degree in film and journalism. She writes about business news, local people, entertainment, and has a particular interest in theatre.


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