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Rocky Horror Show

28th November 2022 - 3rd December 2022

 

Ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical, The Rocky Horror Show comes to Malvern Theatres as part of its sell-out tour, having been seen by over 30 million theatregoers.

The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet. When by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank’n’Furter. It is an adventure they’ll never forget, filled with fun, frolics, frocks, and frivolity.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, The Rocky Horror Show is the biggest party and features timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet, and of course, the pelvic thrusting show stopping Time Warp.

‘Still the sexiest & funniest show in town’ EVENING STANDARD

Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes (including interval)

Details

Start:
28th November 2022
End:
3rd December 2022
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
Tues-Thurs: £44.80, £42.56, £39.20, £35.84 & £32.48
Fri 8.30pm & Sat: £49.28, £47.04, £43.68, £40.32 & £36.96
Mon & Fri 5.30pm: All tickets £28
Concessions £2 off
Members discounts apply
Prices include 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Monday 28th - Saturday 3rd December
Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday& Saturday at 5.30pm & 8.30pm

Event Reviews

  • Susan

    Absolutely fantastic, i have seen this show many times and this has to be the best performance. Well done guys you SMASHED IT
    XXXX

  • Debbie

    Excellent performance

  • View from the Stalls

    Wonderfully, gloriously camp!

    Malvern is certainly showing its sleazier side this week if the first night of Rocky Horror Show is anything to go by. A night out in fishnet tights and high heels for some - and that's just the men - all assembled to celebrate the return of those alien trans-sexuals from Transylvania.

    If there is one musical which continually re-invents itself, bringing its energy and charm to a brand-new audience as well as retaining its hard-core fans, then it must be Richard O'Brien's show. Opening in June 1973, O'Brien's story of a pair of lovers who unexpectedly find themselves in a completely different world headed by Frank N Furter and his motley bunch of friends/workers/lovers/Phantoms has been a perennial favourite on the touring circuit for years and as such, with clever and varied casting particularly in the main roles of Frank and The Narrator, continues to draw a huge and very involved audience. Indeed, the involvement of the audience is as important an element as the story itself and tests every Narrator to the extreme.

    In the past, these narrators have been as varied as Nicholas Parsons, Steve Punt, Dom Joly and Alison Hammond and for this part of the nationwide tour, it is Motherland star Jackie Clune's privilege to hold the big book and wait for the audience's jibes (which she responds to pretty well, including even a mention of Matt Hancock!). She is no stranger to musicals, having been in Mamma Mia and the West End production of Billy Elliot and being asked to be the narrator must be a feather in any actor's cap. The jibes come from an audience well-used to pre-empting the script, something which probably comes as a surprise to any newbies watching!

    In this show, the muscular Frank is played by Stephen Webb with Richard Meek as clean-cut Brad and alongside this pair is Haley Flaherty as Brad's other half Janet (dammit!). The pivotal role of Riff Raff is still the domain of Kristian Lavercombe who has basically made the role his own, incredibly having done it now for well over 2000 performances. Kudos too for the very energetic and acrobatic Ben Westhead on his first professional UK tour outing, obviously much-loved in the title role of Rocky and expertly carrying out his aerobics perfectly on the Malvern stage.

    The whole cast worked brilliantly as, to be fair, did the audience! The musical accompaniment from the live band hidden away at the top of the stage was superb. The spectacular and colourful ending using smoke and lights was also beautifully done and had the audience on their feet doing the Timewarp along with the cast.

    It certainly seems that the show, forever being refreshed with new casting and effects, is set to continue for many years to come. And in June next year it will be 50…

    So Malvern - Dress to suit. No-one will bat an eyelid!

  • Showtime! John Philpott

    Let's remind ourselves about the 1970s. David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Sweet, Gary Glitter… all the unfettered exhibitionism of Glam Rock and the delicious fun of cross-dressing.

    Hey, wasn’t it one long wheeze when gender lines were blurred long before the idea of LGBT+ was a twinkle in the activist’s eye?

    Oh yes, and I nearly forgot. Then there was Benny Hill… you know him, that dodgy, pudgy little guy whose weekly show was a riot of stockings, suspenders and all delivered with the clumsy crudity of a working man’s club ‘smoking session.’

    Ah, the ‘smoking session.’ If you don’t know what that is, then it’s probably best if you absolutely DON’T get out more.

    These days, you’ll find the Benny Hill Show consigned to a TV Freeview channel. Unsurprisingly, it carries that now familiar trigger warning about the humour being ‘of its time and some people might be offended’. Poor things.

    Well, we live in strange and confusing times. Richard O’Brien’s creation, first staged in 1973, seems to have remarkably escaped the notice of the Woke gauleiters, because the whole show is basically about sexual grooming. Sorry folks, but yes, it is.

    As I said, it’s all very confusing. But there again, the British are by their very nature card-carrying hypocrites, whose love of the downright bawdy remains unchanged since the days of William Shakespeare. Which is a good thing, I say.

    But somehow, the new repressive puritanism weirdly exists side-by-side with the undimmed love of total tackiness for which we Brits are renowned.

    Anyway, to the show itself. It moves along at a disgustingly assured pace, which you would expect after nearly half a century of fine-tuning such an orgy of unadulterated vulgarity.

    The storyline is, of course, as slender as a bra strap. Janet (Haley Flaherty) and Brad (Richard Meek) are a couple of squeaky-clean college kids whose car breaks down outside Frank N Furter’s festering pile, a kind of Bates Motel, only far less inviting.

    In 2022 parlance, Frank (Stephen Webb) would be regarded as a sexual predator who basically abducts this pair of pathetic ‘squares’ in order to groom and convert them into being like-minded souls.

    The audience clearly loves his every outrage. They shout, hoot and holler with gay abandon at Frank’s antics, especially during the bed scenes in which Janet and Brad are turned from being a couple of ‘straights’ into rampant sex machines themselves.

    Frank is aided by his ghastly oppo Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) and between them, they deconstruct the couple and recreate them in their own image. Now, here’s a question for you. What would you call that particular process these days, hmmm?

    That said, the fabulously talented cast on this current world tour burn through this retro tale with style and panache, all the while being driven along by a rocking band led by director Charlie Ingles.

    However, the conundrum of our split personality society continues to baffle and contradict. For if Benny Hill must now carry a public health warning, how come this far more explicit show escapes the downward grinding crunch of the Woke jackboot?

    The answer might lie in the fact that just as we get the politicians we deserve, the same applies to stage shows. Yes, The Rocky Horror Show is brilliantly delivered - but does it really travel?

    On the evidence of the first night’s crowd reaction, it clearly does. Still confusing though.

  • Helen McWilliams - Entertainment Views Blog

    Let’s do the time warp again! I’m always more than happy to take up that challenge, Rocky Horror Show is one of my favourite musicals and when the Transylvania spaceship landed at Malvern Theatres last night – it didn’t fail to delight the packed and enthusiastic house.

    From the get go, Richard O’Brien’s classic packs a punch with the opening number ‘Science Fiction, Double Feature’ sung with bags of character by Jessica Sole as the usherette, the spark was lit for an evening of fireworks and fun. The appearance of Jackie Clune as the narrator set the audience off with the shout outs and banter the show is renowned for. Clune dealt brilliantly with the heckles and she’s definitely my favourite narrator to date. Then we meet Brad (Richard Meek) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) and it’s all downhill from there… free-wheeling downhill with all the screams and thrills of a rollercoaster ride. Just what Rocky Horror Show should be!

    In case you’re unfamiliar with Rocky Horror Show, here’s a brief summary: up tight and prudish Brad and Janet are on their way back from a wedding, they spontaneously become engaged to be married and their car gets a flat tyre. They seek out refuge and a telephone in a house that looks suspiciously like Frankenstein’s place (cue the song of the same name!) – the spooky, Addams family appearance of the castle doesn’t deter them. Not even when they’ve met hunchbacked Riff Raff and the rest of the peculiar mob do they appear to suspect anything is awry. Then we meet Frank N Furter, a transvestite who’s making a man for his pleasure, called Rocky. The production is peppered with hit songs you’re bound to recognise, The Time Warp being just one of them and my personal favourite ‘When Eddie Said He Didn’t Want His Teddy’.

    Frank N Furter, in my opinion, should draw the eye, keep the audience to rapt attention and break the third wall in the most hilarious ways. Stephen Webb is perfect in the role. He’s got the stature of course, amazing energy and his vocal ability is off the scale. I couldn’t find fault with his deliciously, devilishly over the top performance. Also, what an honour to be in the presence of the longest serving Riff Raff (Kristian Lavercombe) and he’s performed in the show more than anyone else in its 48 year (48 years 😱) history. I’ve seen Lavercombe in the role before, many times and he is incredible. When Jessica Sole returns to the stage as Magenta, she makes the perfect double act with Lavercombe. There’s also a wonderful portrayal of love-sick Columbia, from the fantastically talented Darcy Finden. Eddie and Dr Scott are played by Joe Allen, who is also perfectly cast in those roles. Then there’s Ben Westwood as Rocky 😍

    Christopher Luscombe has directed an exciting, entertaining and quintessentially quirky version of the fabulously filthy classic musical. The set (designed by Hugh Durrant) provides an exceptional backdrop for madness and mayhem.

  • Curtain Call Reviews

    From the pen of Richard O’Brien, the Rocky Horror Show has been delighting audiences for nearly 50 years and on the basis that the auditorium at the Malvern Theatre was full to the brim, it’s pretty clear that this show still has legions of fans, some could say it has cult status. Many audience members dress as their favourite characters and this only adds to the pretty bonkers night out!

    The story, as the opening song announces, is complete science fiction, featuring aliens from the planet ‘Transexual, Transylvania’. If you’re looking for a deep and meaningful story, you’re definitely at the wrong show. This musical is not for the story, but for the outrageous fun that ensues from the get-go. We are greeted by the Usherette (Jess Sole) who opens the show with ‘Science Fiction Double Feature’. Sole has a stunning voice and as she doubles up as Magenta, it’s clear that she has star quality. At this point the audience participation starts. I think this is the only show I’ve been to where this is actively encouraged and in fact, you’re waiting for it to start!

    We meet Brad (Richard Meek) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) in their car which subsequently breaks down. Meek and Flaherty are perfectly cast in their roles. The vocals from Meek specifically were outstanding, somewhat of a velvety tone which was very welcome during ‘Super Heroes’. Flaherty plays the ‘ditzy’ Janet very well. This the second time I’ve seen her perform in the role and the performance is still as fresh. As Brad and Janet try to find a phone to call a mechanic to fix their car, they come across a house and once inside their lives are changed forever!

    Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff is a scene stealer in every sense. He has played the character for over 2000 performances in many of the touring productions all over the world and the mannerisms, the gait and the overall demeanour is just spot on. Of course, Riff Raff’s moment to shine and of course an audience favourite is during the ‘Time Warp’. We all know the dance moves in our sleep, and it only takes the first few bars before some audience members are up on their feet to join in.

    This joyous moment is quickly followed by my personal favourite from the show, ‘Sweet Transvestite’. Here we meet Frank N Furter played magnificently by Stephen Webb. Playing the sex crazed being, Webb really has it all! The voice, the look and the performance really do capture this iconic role and I loved everything about his portrayal.

    As I said, the story really doesn’t matter too much in this show, as it’s so bonkers anyway it kind of goes over your head. The joy is from the comedic performances, the brilliant tunes, and the audience participation. The whole thing is held together by the Narrator played by Jackie Clune. From the first time we see Clune, she completely has the audience in the palm of her hand with clever up to the moment quips, even including a mention of Matt Hancock and his appearance on ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’. Needless to say, this received rapturous applause and set the tone of the evening perfectly. As this show has such a following of people who probably know the script better than the performers, they have to be ready for anything thrown at them and as the Narrator, Clune absolutely nailed it!

    The staging and set, designed by Hugh Durrant takes you inside Frank N Furter’s house, his lab and bedroom and worked really well to set the scene. There was an impressive lighting display by Nick Richings with the use of many coloured spotlights which were blinding at points but added to the overall look. The music under the direction of Charlie Ingles was, I felt, perhaps a little too loud at times, however the soundtrack to this iconic musical was delivered superbly.

    There are many stand out moments during this show but if you are prudish in any form, then this show is really not for you as the opening of Act 2 will confirm! If you are considering seeing the show for the first time, please go with an open mind and give yourself over to absolute pleasure, in the words of Frank N Furter!

  • Val Wallcroft

    When you come across a group of TRANSELVANIANS - dressed in nurses outfits - glittery stockings and suspenders - trudging across the park on a cold November night - Then it can only mean one thing - Rocky Horror has hit Malvern! A long awaited show you know will be loud, funny and cheeky!

    This production is truly fast paced and slick on its world tour 2022 It's a fun and raunchy production - certainly not for the faint hearted! From the start of the show 'the Narrator exchanged all the usual cheeky quips with the audience ( an audience obviously well used to the banter of cast and narrator making for a night of fun, laughter and sequins - absolutely first class. Let this be a lesson however!! Don't knock on the door of a crumbling old house which is opened by a most 'odd' character called RIF-RAF

    It deservedly played to a full house with the audience joining in the famous TIME WARP dance.

  • A View from Behind the Arras

    Tonight I did the The Time-Warp again when The Rocky Horror Show returned to Malvern for the last stop on its 2022 tour.

    I was fortunate to see the original show in London in the 1970s and the film, of course, but I have not seen it on stage since then and this is a great production with a terrific cast. It has moved with the times but it’s still as fast, funny, subversive and shocking as it always was.

    We are in classic 1950’s, B movie, science fiction/horror territory where we meet just-engaged innocents, Brad and Janet, whose car has broken down on a dark and stormy night, close to the gothic home of Dr Frank N Furter and his eccentric entourage.

    They are lured inside to enjoy a night they will remember “for a very long time” when the Doctor reveals his creation, Rocky Horror, the perfect man. There are many more outrageous revelations to come but to say more would be to spoil it for any Rocky Horror ‘virgins’. However, I should add that transvestism and sexual fluidity are explored in a comedic and non-threatening way.

    All the cast members excel in their roles and have superb singing voices. Stephen Webb slips into the basque and ripped fishnet stockings of Dr Frank N Furter very comfortably and commands the stage. Brad (Richard Meek) and Janet (Haley Flaherty) make ideal college sweethearts.

    Rocky is played by Ben Westhead in minimal costume to great effect. Kristian Lavercombe embodies the creepy Riff Riff and Darcy Finden shows off her dancing talent as Columbia. Suzie McAdam doubles successfully as Magenta and the Usherette, and Joe Allen enjoys the contrasting roles of Eddie and Dr Scott.

    We must not forget the Narrator, played here by Jackie Clune with the authority and comedy timing to handle any audience participation or heckling that might come her way. The Phantoms who contribute to the ensemble pieces are sharp, funny and polished.

    It is, of course, a great musical with songs that most of the audience know and love and the band, partly hidden above the stage behind a screen, do not disappoint. They drive the show and thoroughly deserved the lengthy applause they received.

    The set, designed by Hugh Durrant, is simple but very effective, with revolving panels for quick and easy scene changes. The lighting by Nick Richings is spectacular and makes a great contribution to the look and feel of the production.

    What better way to spend a cold, damp night in November than in a full auditorium, surrounded by smiling faces of all ages from teens to… well, it would be rude to speculate. It’s hard to think of another show that has such universal appeal; it creates a conspiracy of joy between the performers and the audience. If you have never seen The Rocky Horror Show – go! If you’re already a fan, grab yourself a ticket and “Give yourself over to absolute pleasure” again.