I was about 12 when I first saw Meat Loaf burst through a wall of ice on a motorbike and I don’t think my life has been entirely the same since.
Before this point, my experience of musicals and ‘happy’ films consisted of much loved movies from Disney, and classic musicals – the edgiest being Grease. Though I enjoyed them I was always more interested in characters like Iago from Aladdin, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and Rizzo from Grease, rather than the hero or heroine and it kind of annoyed me that they did not get enough screen time (and also had an incredibly bad rep).
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was the first time I had seen an entire bunch of characters that I was fully captivated by, and it fast became a favourite film of mine. Meat Loaf, a motorbike, a glamorous transvestite, aliens, a haunted house, good guys turning bad ass, catchy rock tunes and chaos – this was the closest reality to my dream world.
This revelation that there were films that focussed on the weird and wonderful was a gateway that lead me down a path to less mainstream movies and really was what kick started my continued passion for films.
To this current day I still find absolute joy in watching or listening to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so when it was announced that creator Richard O’Brien would be taking to the stage to play the narrator for the first time in 20 years, I knew that I had to get my hands on tickets.
Now, I always say that “I don’t like musicals” which is actually a big fat lie, what I really hate is anything that is stuffy and pretentious which, let’s be honest, some theatre productions can be.
Getting off the train at Embankment and following two bald-headed men in stockings and a Magenta, I knew this night was going to be far from refrained.
The show was to mark 40 years since the movie was released, and knowing that missing one of Franky’s parties would be a travesty, it sold out within 72 hours. I was lucky enough to get my hands on three of the popular seats but meant that we were at the very top of the Playhouse theatre.
Climbing the many stairs to our nosebleed seats we were in need of a refreshment. In the bar I was delighted to see an entire range of costumes, from both male and female audience members. Though it was a tough choice I think my favourite had to be the gentlemen who put so much effort in that he was a mirror image version of Tim Curry’s movie portrayal of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
As we took our seats, we noticed that the audience was varied from costume wearing to the casual, die hard original fans and a new generation drawn in by the shows cult appeal.
From the second the ragged curtains were drawn much of the crowd burst into song and became part of the show. This enthusiasm was continued throughout the performance, especially when Richard O’Brien took to the stage and the small theatre almost erupted. All the singing and dancing throughout made for one of the best nights out I have had in a long time.
The show was focussed on fun and twisted humour, making it impossible for anyone to leave without a smile across their faces.
As I mentioned, many of the audience were hardcore fans; knowing every word they participated by shouting out, adding so much comedy that not even the cast could hold it together at some points. Though were many dedicated Richard O’Brian groupies. They were a friendly bunch, just from the bar, stairs and a bathroom break we chatted merrily and found out that many people had travelled not only from around the UK but around the world to see the show and others had attended in full fancy dress every night! This might sound a little intimidating but whether a virgin or a well versed Rocky Horror fan this show was all encompassing and, for me, a childhood dream come true.
The show has been such a success that they are packing up their lab sequins and hells to take it around the UK. If you are planning on getting tickets my top tips would be to go along with the chaos, have fun, check out the website beforehand and do not expect an average night at the theatre.
Are you guys fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Or do you have another favourite musical?
*Feature image from The Rocky Horror Show Official Website Media Gallery