Latest posts by Scott Balf (see all)
- Theatre review: Wicked – Palace Theatre, Manchester - 6 December, 2018
- Shrek The Musical – Manchester Palace Theatre – Review - 18 January, 2018
- Review: Sunset Boulevard – Palace Theatre, Manchester - 24 October, 2017
If you want to be touch-a touch-a touch-a touched by a delicious creature of the night, you should go see The Rocky Horror Show at Manchester’s Opera House.
Yes, it’s finally here. A few weeks ago I interviewed the delightful Diana Vickers about her role as Janet in Richard O’Brien’s scandalous masterpiece which is currently on the Manchester leg of its 2016 UK tour, and I had the honour and the pleasure of seeing it last night.
Rocky Horror was brilliant from start to finish! The production was hilarious, cheeky, sex-mad and at points down right filthy – which coincidentally are also qualities I list on my CV.
Christopher Luscombe brought his vision to the stage in spectacular fashion, and this being my first time seeing a stage production of Rocky Horror I was exceptionally impressed. I have to tip my hat to the set designer, Hugh Durrant, because visually the show was stunning. Frank N. Furter’s castle was very handsomely designed. Two thumbs up, Mr. Durrant!
The casting of the show was great too! Diana Vickers and Ben Freeman as Janet and Brad were the perfect wholesome couple, their voices matching perfectly.
Diana was definitely the strongest singer in the cast – and that voice! Woah, baby. I don’t remember her vocals smacking me in the face like that on The X Factor! She was brilliant! Janet’s my favourite character in Rocky Horror so I’m always biased towards her, but Diana impressed me massively.
And Ben Freeman, those legs! Oh lord, hold me. If you know me, you’ll know I love a man in briefs, and seeing Brad in his tighty whiteys did something to me. I was all like, ‘Why would you cover it up with a lab coat – let me ogle!’ He also filled the role of Brad wonderfully. He was the nerdy wimp at the beginning, becoming the assertive husband when he felt Janet being threatened.
Great chemistry. Dammit, Janet, I love you – and I’m also mad for Brad!
Charlie Condou stepped into the shoes of the infamous, made-for-interruptions narrator, even forgetting his lines at one point when an audience member asked him to show us his cock. He was hilarious, and his stage presence was fabulous, bouncing back and forth with us. As an audience member, I really felt involved and it contributed to my enjoyment of the show.
The headliner of Rocky Horror is always Dr. Frank N. Furter: the one and only sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, and Liam Tamne wore the shit out of those fishnets. I really, really liked him. He was kinda buff and it did it for me. I seem to have a subconscious thing for men in stockings, and I thought he was crazy sexy, and he was really funny too!
I only have one tiny criticism, and this was reinforced by my editor who accompanied me to the show and my two reviewer friends who I ALWAYS see at these shows – Liam didn’t let go enough. I know with Frank – the way he’s written and always been portrayed – he’s loose, and ridiculous, and so camp and flamboyant you could set yourself on fire.
But last night he felt a little controlled, like Liam didn’t want to trip over the heels or embrace the fluidity of the character. With this particular character, you have to fling yourself off the cliff of campness head first. Even though I loved his performance and thought he was great, it was like he was abseiling down said cliff. I wanted him to just let go and free-fall, giving himself entirely to me.
Speaking of Frank, his bloody victim Eddie was played by ex-S Club 7 member Paul Cattermole, and I never remembered Eddie only being in the show for a matter of minutes, giving me ‘Hot Patootie (Whatever Happened to Saturday Night)’ before being hacked up with a chainsaw. He was great as Eddie, and then he got into the chair of Dr. Scott and was equally as good.
Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia, Now the house servants. Riff Raff was played by Rocky Horror veteran Kristian Lavercombe – and after last night’s show, I can honestly understand why he’s been in over a thousand performances because he was fucking BRILLIANT and stood out for me right from ‘There’s A Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)’.
Magenta was played Kay Murphy, who also played the usherette opening the show with my favourite song (‘Science Fiction/Double Feature’).
And I’m completely in love with Columbia, played by Sophie Linder-Lee, the tap dancing fire-cracker who absolutely SLAYED me with her euphoric episode – she was hilarious! Top marks for all three of you! I loved you all!
And my MVP, and it isn’t just because I’m a thirsty gay with a penchant for rippling muscles and men in briefs… Dominic Andersen. He was, of course, Rocky, the creature – the disgustingly beautiful and sculpted creation of Frank N. Furter, made to love and service him.
He was amazing. I’m completely in love. I think I am totally biased because of how much I fancy him, but honestly, his performance was insanely good. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I swear I missed some parts of the show because I was glued to him, his reactions, his delivery of lines, how hot his body was.
I’m the worst for objectifying him, but that’s literally the reason he was created, so whatever. He’s more than his banging body in the show. His voice got me going and his interactions with the other cast members were fabulous! And then the finale of the show: Dominic in a corset and suspenders, literally a culmination of my three favourite things. Someone fan me, this is getting all too much.
In conclusion, The Rocky Horror Show is fabulous, super camp, includes a bit of blatant under-the-duvet bumming, and is an amazing night out! It’s hilariously entertaining, as if you’d expect anything else, and an inclusive, raunchy and raucous show.
Go see it, and make sure you dress up in your fishnets! I can’t praise it enough! So many feather boas – give them to me. I want a corset. Okay, I’ll stop now.
The Rocky Horror Show is showing in Manchester until Saturday 16 January, and tickets are available from ATG. And if you go, take me with you please. (Not kidding.)