The Rocky Horror Show is an enduring cult classic, something of which I was unaware until my experience a few nights ago at Richmond Theatre. This darling little venue, located on Richmond Green, always has an assorted menu of shows to choose from. I am so glad I picked Rocky Horror, I absolutely loved it. It is no wonder Richard O’Brien’s musical has a loyal fan base. It has been selling out to audiences for the last 30 years.
When I walked in I was stunned to see so many fully costumed audience members; an ecstatic hysteria surrounded me. I love dressing up – why did no one tell me? As the show kicked off I realised audience participation went far and beyond just whacky outfits. This show relies on the screaming audience’s enthusiasm, and my audience had enthusiasm aplenty. The call and response between viewers and actors was so impressive I began to think it was staged. As the show went on it got rowdier and more improvised and was absolutely thrilling to be part of. Even before the famous Time Warp song began, most of the audience were on their feet ready to boogie, soon after the rest of us were following suit and joining in.
Ainsley Harriott features as the fabulous narrator, and is side-splittingly funny, bouncing off the audience interjections with wit and charisma. And he isn’t afraid to let his hair down, joining in energetically with the chorus numbers and dancing about the stage. I cannot fault the rest of the cast, they are all outstanding. David Bedella, who returns to the role of Frank’n’Furter, owns the stage and commands attention, not just because of his daring sequined costume. Vocally the cast is brilliant, not a note is out of place, and the amplification helps make the sound more electrifying, competing with the lively band.
Rocky Horror continues at The Richmond Theatre until 27 November. Buy Rocky Horror tickets here.