The Rocky Horror Show | World Tour | Review

The Rocky Horror Show

Theatre Royal Brighton

3rd – 7th January

Yes, this is YET another Theatre South East review of the Rocky Horror Show. We unashamedly know that we have reviewed it several times before, but we, like many of the show’s loyal audience, cannot stay away. This cult show visits the Theatre Royal Brighton again this week and once again delights the audience.

I love taking Rocky Horror virgin’s to see the show. I first went to the show in the mid 1980s when I was a student and have seen the show numerous since. Some of my contemporaries must have led much more sheltered lives. I am only too happy to educate them, and I am yet to take someone who doesn’t fall in love with the show.

The Rocky Horror Show is the story of an innocent newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere on a stormy night. They stumble across a castle and decide to ask for help. But things are not what they seem and before they can say ‘timewarp’ they are thrust into an unexpected and enlightening adventure which changes their entire perspective forever.

The show is a celebration of fun, freedom and craziness. My companion for the evening worriedly asked me whether there was audience participation involved and I had to laugh as the whole show revolves around it. Almost every line in the script has a hilarious audience retort, the cast feed the lines, the audience respond willingly and the dialogue begins – the show is nothing without it’s fanbase and thrives on it.

Last performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton November 2021 (shortly after the theatres all reopened) many of the cast are the same. The tour would not be complete without Kristian Lavercombe playing Riff Raff, he has been playing the role originally played by the show’s creator Richard O’Brien and I cannot imagine it played by anyone else.  Stephen Webb has also found his niche playing Frank ‘n’ Furter exuding sexuality with aplomb.  Haley Flaherty also makes a welcome return as Janet but this time she has a new sweetheart with Richard Meek taking the role of Brad.

The star of the show for me has to be Philip Franks as the Narrator. Never has a narrator been so utterly charming and hilarious. As the butt of most of the audience’s retorts, his comebacks are fast paced and superbly executed. A true professional at work.

The Rocky Horror opened Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in 1973 (6 years before it became a picture show) making this, it’s 50th year gracing the stage and delighting new and younger audiences each time it tours.  The Rocky Horror Show undoubtably has many years left in it and this reviewer will never tire of returning.  


Reviewer: Sammi O’Neill

Photo by: David Freeman