The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Royal & Derngate

It’s astounding, time was fleeting and madness has taken control at Royal & Derngate as the Rocky Horror Picture Show has arrived in Northampton!

Richard O’Brien’s thrilling, naughty and rock ‘n’ roll show is showing for one week only and it’s 100% worth the visit because it’s nothing like you’ll have ever seen before if it’s your first time.

Photography by David Freeman

The story is… questionable… on whether there’s an actual plot line, but it’s mad. But what O’Brien has achieved is quite astonishing – a show that has lived through generations and still has people coming to theatres to sing, squeal, cry with laughter (and sometimes through emotion) and of course… do the Time Warp!

The story focuses on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. They discover the head of the castle is Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist who’s actually an alien transvestite from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania, who creates a living muscle man named Rocky in his laboratory.

Of course, one of the most memorable things about this show is the soundtrack. Rock ‘n’ Roll songs like “Hot Patootie”, “Dammit Janet” and “Sweet Transvestite” were brought to life thanks to the music supervision and direction and the wicked band. No faults in terms of sound throughout the night.

Photography by David Freeman
Photography by David Freeman

The full cast was on and ready to give Northampton a cracking first opening night. There were also a lot of die-hard fans in attendance in full dress-up and ready to heckle with the selected phrases.

Strictly Come Dancing winner, Ore Oduba played loveable geek Brad, who brought a modern twist to the character but also proves he’s a triple threat in his singing, acting and dancing. Plus, he’s got incredible thighs in those stockings!

Haley Flaherty is the perfect Janet. Sickly sweet, practically perfect and twee – but managed to get us to fall in love with her, even more, when she unleashed during her solo “Touch-A, Touch-A Touch Me”.

Together, both Oduba and Flaherty had wonderful stage chemistry.

The crude Northampton jokes and impeccable comedy timing from Philip Franks, who guided us through the show as the Narrator, were second to none. He was witty and could respond to all the heckles he was getting from the audience. He’d clearly done his research on the location (although he mentioned The Osmonds were coming to the theatre soon… which was incorrect!)

Photography by David Freeman

The star of the show for me was obviously Frank N Furter, played by Stephen Webb and I’ve got three words to say… What a man! He was completely mesmerizing on stage to the point it was hard to keep my eyes off him. He brought charisma, mighty vocals, sass, and incredible stage presence. In my eyes; the perfect man to play this Transvestite!

Other highlights of the show for me were Lauren Ingram for her completely bonkers and outrageous fit of stunts she pulled off as Columbia, and Joe Allen for his double role stunts as both Eddie and Dr. Scott proving he’s an incredible character actor.

One of the strongest assets the whole cast had; they all had incredible voices! There wasn’t a performer out of tune and they could certainly handle this timeless soundtrack.

There are too many highlights to mention because the show was just that good. Slick cast, performing an equally slick show – it’s sad to hear that this was their final week of touring as this show deserves to be seen by everyone.

Photography by David Freeman
Photography by David Freeman

I left the theatre feeling totally confused but thoroughly entertained. Be prepared for an incredibly crude night that will leave you jaw-dropped (especially over that bedroom scene!) but you will love every minute.

I’ve never been to a show which has managed to get people on their feet dancing in the first act.

Make sure you jump to the left and take a step to the right to the Royal & Derngate – Rocky Horror Picture Show is showing until Saturday 9th July. Buy your tickets here.


Share this post?

Leave a Comment