Raucous applause, leg stomping and a decidedly spirited audience rocks the Playhouse Theatre as Richard O’Brien walks out on stage, playing the role of narrator for the first time in more than 20 years. The cult musical, ‘Rocky Horror’, to which O’Brien owes much of his success, is back in the West End for a limited run until 26th September 2015.
Reprising the role of Frank-N-Furter, Olivier award-winner David Bedella (pictured above) takes centre stage as he seduces his audience, inviting them to heckle, laugh and cheer at the ‘sweet transvestite’s’ bawdy character. Fighting not to corpse as he bed hops with Brad (played by Ben Forster) and Janet (played by Haley Flaherty), he plays perfectly into the audience’s hands, supported by the brilliant Kristian Lavercombe as his outlandish ‘handy man’, Riff Raff, who also shines.
O’Brien’s intermittent sharp-witted presence never fails to get a round of applause as he commands the stage, aptly decked in a smoking jacket and drain-pipe jeans, he charms the audience with his strange and slow drawl as he narrates the bizarre turn of events an innocent Brad and Janet face as they enter Frank’s warped world.
The show truly offers its guests an invitation to party, and for die-hard fans of the show it promises not to disappoint. Music blares as mayhem erupts on stage for some of the best-loved numbers, including Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite, that we’re all invited to dance and sing along to, reprising our roles as party-goers during the encore at the end – a memorable moment topped only by the presence of O’Brien who takes pride of place as orchestrator of events, careful not to upstage the wonderful cast – though it’s hard to take your eyes off the show’s talented creator.
Rocky Horror is every bit as fresh, naughty and brilliantly clever as it was in its heyday as it time warps its audience into a world quite unlike any other found in the West End. Nor, will anything ever compare.
Images: Dave Hogan, Getty Images