Culture Writer Charis Gambon praises the Belgrade’s energetic and fun performance of the iconic Rocky Horror Show
The participation aspect of The Rocky Horror Show is one of the reasons for the show’s greatness. The show is special as everyone in the audience stands up and together dances with the actors to the show’s famous song, in this instance, ‘Time Warp’. Some of the audience, near the front mainly, also shouted out the audience participation lines that follow alongside the narrator. The togetherness of the show makes the experience superb as you are able to feel that you are part of the story rather than just passively spectating.
With such an iconic show, it always has certain expectations attached to it. The outstanding cast and live band were more than capable of meeting these high expectations. Every individual involved in the performance is incredibly talented and performed exceptionally well.
Stefano Guerriero responded superbly to the audience remarks as the narrator. He was able to portray a modern and frankly hilarious narrative which added to the overall success of the show.
Darcy Finden sang incredibly well as the Usherette at the start and end of the show in the song ‘Science Fiction – Double Feature’ and later as Columbia. The notes she can hit with her voice are absolutely outstanding. Her energy as Columbia was perfectly matched to the expectations of the character and I do not think she could have been better cast.
Haley Flaherty and Richard Meek were well suited to the roles of Janet and Brad. It was superb watching the pair develop over the duration of the performance. Flaherty was superb in ‘Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me’’ and the emotions conveyed in the piece could certainly be felt.
Stephen Webb was truly outstanding as Frank-N-Furter. The over-the-top, dramatic character was truly personified by Webb. Everyone cheered when he first appeared on the stage. Portraying such an iconic main role leaves the actor with big shoes to fill and Webb was certainly up for the task. He made the role his own and he certainly was Frank-N-Furter in every way.
Kristian Lavercombe and Suzie McAdam was suited to their roles of Rif Raff and Magenta. Lavercombe was able to portray a creepy and dramatic Riff Raff and McAdam brought a dramatic and sexual Magenta to the stage.
Christopher Luscombe did a outstanding job of directing this version of The Rocky Horror Show and he should certainly be pleased with the magnificent show that unfolded on the stage. Additionally, Sue Blane created costumes for every cast member that were incredibly suitable for each character while still managing to be unique.
The band directed by Greg Arrowsmith played each iconic song incredibly well. They were visible from above the stage, through a constructed film strip at the top of the back wall. The band certainly looked like they were enjoying performing the soundtracks. The interesting and well thought out idea to place the band on top of the film strip is due to Hugh Durran.
Every scene, character and song is enjoyable. The performance at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry was truly superb. The hype was lived up to and the show’s quality was demonstrated by the standing ovation at the end of the performance. The Rocky Horror Show showcases to all that complete freedom is liberating and allows for you to be yourself. There is no better way to spend a few hours than following the words of Rocky Horror and “giving yourself over the absolute pleasure.”
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