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REVIEW: Rocky Horror Show at The Opera House

The cult classic, Rocky Horror Show, has made its vibrant entrance into Manchester, with audience members flocking to The Opera House in their suspenders and corsets - truly immersing themselves in the eccentric, raunchy nature of the show.

On arrival to the theatre we were far behind the fandom, with no idea what we were letting ourselves in for having never watched the film itself.

However it lived up to expectations and didn't disappoint, transforming the venue into one big party.

A highlight of the evening, for me, was the level of audience involvement. Creator Richard O’Brien labelled the show an ‘adult pantomime’ and I couldn't think of a more fitting description. The perfectly timed heckles and uproarious laughter from the audience, coupled with the encouragement from the actors, created an electric atmosphere.

The story primarily revolves around themes of sexual liberation, gender identity, and the celebration of non-conformity. It centres on a newly engaged couple whose car breaks down in a storm near a castle, where they seek a telephone to call for help. The home is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention and they discover the head of the house is Dr. Frank N Furter, a mad transvestite scientist.

It’s all secret labs and seduction, covert mansions and corsets, glitter and glamour.

Stephen Webb's Frank is dominating, defiant and slightly dangerous; however the star of the show for me was Darcy Finden, playing the role of Columbia, one of Frank N Furter's loyal followers serving as the castle's groupie.

Darcy's boundless energy was infectious and she seamlessly embodied the essence of her character, adeptly blending comedic timing with heartfelt sincerity. Her sheer talent was evident from the moment she stepped onto the stage and it was impossible to take your eyes off her, whether she was centre stage or partaking in an ensemble piece.

Philip Franks delivered an outstanding performance as the narrator, establishing a connection with the audience almost immediately and delivering hilarious commentary throughout. His charismatic delivery, engaging presence and impeccable timing brought an extra layer of excitement to the performance.

The extraordinary score by O’Brien, initially arranged by Richard Hartley and presently interpreted by the musical supervisor Greg Arrowsmith and musical director Charlie Ingles, continues to sparkle in this wonderful production.

Rocky Horror Show is at The Opera House until Sunday 28 January, with tickets available to purchase here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-rocky-horror-show/opera-house-manchester/.

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