Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show

rocky horror show

Full of West End talent and bravado, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ is a hilarious celebration of sexuality and human longing. Give yourself over to absolute pleasure, says David Mullane.


The Rocky Horror Show premiered at the Royal Court, London in 1973 and won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards in the same year. Since then, it has played to audiences in the West End, on Broadway and all over the world; a film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, premiered in 1975.

With music, book and lyrics by The Crystal Maze’s Richard O’Brien, Rocky Horror is a tongue-in-cheek pastiche of mid-20th-century sci-fi and horror B-movies.

As a result of a storm and a tyre puncture, a wholesome newly engaged couple named Brad and Janet find themselves at the mercy of Dr Frank N Furter and his minions.

When the doctor unveils his new creation Rocky, a perfect specimen of a man, things kick off: bodies are dismembered, firmly fixed sexual orientations fly out the window, Nazi scientists turn up unexpectedly, as so some visitors from another planet.

It takes serious skill to make something so silly and this creative team has it in spades: the cast have previously taken lead roles in West End musicals like Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray; designer Hugh Durrant costumed Cher for her Caesar Palace shows and farewell tour; choreographer Nathan M Wright has choreographed Olympic opening and closing ceremonies for London, Sochi and Vancouver; Paul from S Club 7 is also in the cast, in a minor role, fortunately.

Rocky Horror is many things: a hilarious send-up of schlocky Hollywood film fare; a liberal celebration of bodies, sexuality and human longing; an entertaining stage show with impressive physical comedic performances, plenty of gags and sophisticated audience interaction; a whopper of a musical with a solid collection of songs and one very memorable dance number. Don’t miss it!

The Rocky Horror Show runs at The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre until Saturday, October 8. Tickets here.


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