Rocky Horror at The Opera House
I have never really been into the whole Rocky Horror craze, I saw the movie years ago and never got to see the stage production, but I realise now that I have been missing out. The Rocky Horror Show rolled into town this week and what an assault on the senses it is.
Manchester did itself proud on a cold Monday night with suspenders and basques galore and that was just the men. You can’t help but think by the time the tour leaves, there will be a feather boa drought.
The show started with a bang and held the energy all the way through with superb performances all round. There really wasn’t a weakest link as the iconic characters of Brad, Janet, Magenta, Columbia, Riff Raff and of course Rocky hit the stage.
Kay Murphy excels as Magenta, exuding old school glamour whenever she takes centre stage. Haley Flaherty and Richard Meek as hapless couple Brad and Janet are also wonderful, playing the innocent pawns to their host.
However there can only be one star of a show and that undoubtedly goes to Liam Tamne who owns the stage from the minute he makes his uber camp appearance as everyone’s favourite transvestite Frank-N-Furter. Never has someone truly owned a part and any comparisons to the celluloid version made famous by Tim Currie are gone as he oozes his way across the stage, taking on all the songs that make this show such a hit. The audience were eating out of the palm of his hand and it felt more like a rock concert than a night at the theatre.
The audience are most definitely the best cast member with the shout outs beginning almost before the first word is uttered. Charlie Condou of Coronation Street fame was our narrator for the night and he played with the audience wonderfully, breaking character to reward us with witty one liners, even casting aspersions on what might be kept in ex cast mate Kym Marsh’s bedside cabinet. Kym was in the audience and took it all in good humour.
Paul Cattermole of S Club 7 is great in the role made popular by Meatloaf, Eddie as well as Dr Scott who has got the measure of our anti-hero Mr Furter.
If there has to be any criticism dished out it’s that, as a newbie to the phenomenon, a lot of the time I really didn’t have a clue what was going on. The frenetic pace and break from narrative did cause me a bit of confusion but I contented myself to sit back and just enjoy the spectacle secure in the knowledge I’d pick it up down the line, which I did.
A finale of Timewarp and Sweet Transvestite had everyone on their feet and boogying and the atmosphere out on Quay Street was electric as everyone left with a huge smile on their face. What more can you ask for from the transvestite from Transylvania and his crew?
By Chris Park for Canal St Online