Let’s do the Time Warp again!

I had a feeling this Halloween was going to be my best yet. The day I booked my tickets for my friend Mya and I to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience I began counting down the days. I had never seen a live stage performance of RHPS so I was over the moon when I had heard one was going to be in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Halloween night.

For those of you that don’t know, Rocky Horror is a musical that was released in 1975. It was written by Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff in the film) and Jim Sharman. Upon release, it was pretty unpopular but the people began dressing like the characters when they went to see it and performing the songs and dances along with the film. It then gained popularity as a midnight movie and went on to become one of the most popular of it’s kind.

I’ve been a massive fan of the film since my teenage years and was keen to join in the audience participation that RHPS is well known for. All of those years of my friends and I doing it along with the film will finally pay off! I dressed up as Dr Frank-N-Furter’s housemaid, Magenta.

Squirrel-friends! Myself as Magenta and Mya as Wednesday Addams

Squirrel-friends! Myself as Magenta and Mya as Wednesday Addams

All of this began as a dream for two guys. Jon Keeling and Dan Prosser wanted to make a touring version of the Rocky Horror.A production team was then formed at the start of this year.

This included names such as Michelle Windsor who works in youth theatre and musical director Gladstone Wilson whose previous work includes the X Factor.

I was informed that this had been a first professional performance for some of the cast. If I hadn’t been told I would never have known! I truly felt that each cast member understood their character and knew how to portray them.

Adam Garnett and Faye Lucynda gave an amazing performance of Brad and Janet’s saucy transformation. From squeaky clean to sweet transvestites!

During Rocky's "birth" song, Sword of Damocles. From left, Rocky (Malcolm Modele), Janet (Faye Lucynda), Phantoms (Rachel Woollaston, Lucy Wood and Sarah Carter, Columbia (JoJo Edwards), Brad (Adam Garnett) and Magenta (Bryony-Rose Ward)

During Rocky’s “birth” song, Sword of Damocles.

One of the scenes I was curious about was the scene when Frank creeps into Janet’s bed first and then Brad’s. I wondered how they were going to do it on stage. It turned out to be one of the most hilarious scenes in the whole play.

The couple were behind a white screen and all the audience could see were shadows whilst they tumbled and twisted. The audience fell about laughing!

I loved the actors and thought they all did brilliantly. However, one stuck out for me. Fernando Mariano’s portrayal of Frank was totally on point. Frank is an exuberant character and I would find it difficult to play his role with a straight face. Fernando completely stayed in character the whole time even when he was not the focal point of the scene.

Dr Frank N Furter (Fernando Mariano) strutting his stuff!

Dr Frank N Furter (Fernando Mariano) strutting his stuff!

Initially I was quite nervous. Rocky Horror is something that has been dear to me for years and I was worried that the stage show wouldn’t live up to the film. Keeling and Prosser made me forget any doubt I had as soon as the first scene began. It was one of the best nights of my life and I’ll never forget it.



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