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    Review: The Rocky Horror Show

    LIVERPOOL EMPIRE THEATRE, MONDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2016

     

    It’s astounding, time may be fleeting, but this show will never take its toll. As fresh, sexy and vibrant as the day we first time warped, The Rocky Horror Show UK Tour will leave you wanting more.

     

    Though the red lips are a classic cinematic moment, tonight’s rendition of ‘Science Fiction: Double Feature’ drew you in just as much, as a retro film attendee opened this night to remember – and what a night it was! There was laughter, there was drama and of course, that iconic soundtrack.

     

    It is a magnificent sight to see an entire theatre audience time warp at the same time, and if anything, it is one of the most electrifying experiences. As the guitar riffs chimed, the audience erupted in rapturous applause. Up on our feet and ready to jump to the left, the beauty of the show lay in the audience participation. Between some rather hilarious and well-timed quips, the love of the fans was at the heart of the evening. More so, the cast’s respect for the fan’s devotion was evident, as they reacted to the shout-outs and suggestions from the crowd. Steve Punt’s fabulously quick wit was in abundance; a perfect match for the lively crowd. As the narrator he had a natural chemistry with the audience. The cast’s enthusiasm for both the show and the fans enthralled us in a feeling of community. That is what makes The Rocky Horror Show. No matter if you are in the audience or on the stage, this is a show that will stay with you no matter what age you are. It is timeless and tonight’s performance was magnificent - An instant classic.

     


    The cast’s enthusiasm equally matched the audience. With every step, glance and song you could see the passion in their performance. Whether it was the Phantom’s hauntingly beautiful rendition of ‘Over at the Frankenstein Place’; their bodies entwined around the castle like a beautiful and gothic life-force, or the moving and dream-like ‘I’m going home’, there was only one word to describe the cast and that is phenomenal. Their harmonies left you with goose bumps of delight. While sometimes their voices were quieter than the accompanying music, this didn’t stop the overall power of their performance emanating from the stage. Singing aside, there was incredible tap dancing from Kay Murphy as Magenta, while Ben Freeman (Brad) and Diana Vickers (Janet) were a wonderful combination as our heroes.

     

    Speaking of heroes, my favourite character was always Riff Raff. While I will always love Richard O’ Brien’s original interpretation, tonight it was a dream to witness an actor equal in talent to O’Brien. Kristian Lavercombe’s Riff Raff is simply perfection. From the slow, high pitched voice to his physicality, everything works seamlessly together to create a character like no other. The fun he brings to the ‘Time Warp’ is infectious – I could have literally danced all night!

     

    The Rocky Horror Show would not be complete with the delightful Dr.Frank-n-Furter. Just when you thought the actors were incredible, the bar was raised again by Liam Tamne. The audience rose to their feet when he arrived onstage and rightly so. Tamne’s singing is simply devine; a combination of crooners like Elvis, mixed with classic rock singers like Deep Purple’s Gillan. The characters on stage loved Frank-n-Furter and so did we.

     

    With a set and costumes that pay perfect homage to the original, tied in with seamless set changes and an outstanding cast, there is so much to love about this show. There’s a light Brad and Janet said – that light is the happiness that you feel leaving the theatre afterwards. It is a five star show, with memories that will last a lifetime.

     

    By Sarah O' Hara

     

    Photographs (C) Sean Webb

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