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The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow

It’s just a jump to the left – or in this case The Pavilion Theatre, then a step into the right seat, put your hands on the armrests, bend your knees in tight,  and get ready for those pelvic thrusts that really drive you insaaaaaaane. . . I’ll stop now. . . 

Featuring a cast of seasoned pros and relative newcomers, opening night of Richard O’Brien’s science fiction rock opera had the Glasgow crowd buzzing with antici… 

FINE,  I’m done.

For those of you who have been living under various rocks, this musical, now in its 50th year, tells the story of Brad and Janet, a naive young couple who get a busted tyre at the wrong, but oh so right time. They knock on the castle abode of one Frank N Furter for some assistance (‘could we use your phone? We’re both in a bit of a hurry’), and are hitherto swept up in a world of sex, fantasy, reanimated corpses, and aliens, because why the hell not? Narrating this Glasgow run is none other than actor and Strictly winner Joe McFadden who deserves special kudos for handling the ever-rowdy crowd with some naughty but nice banter, and for guiding us through the story with passion , wit, and a never-ending supply of energy. That he managed a comment about Scottish soap opera Take the High Road is still hilarious two days later

Our sweethearts Janet and Brad were played Hayley Flaherty (seen also in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mousetrap and Matilda) and Richard Meek (Spamalot, Godspell, Annie) and owned their time on the stage. It can be easy to forget their love story amidst the whips and suspenders, but these two  truly shone. Meek’s performance of Once in a While had the packed theatre silenced and rapt with its intimacy. Frank N Furter takes the shape of Stephen Webb (Hamlet, Legally Blonde, Footloose) and I doubt a single bottom lip was left unbitten in his presence. His delicious portrayal of Frank pushed the character right to the very edges of what can be achieved within a role that has been performed by literally hundreds of other actors. He is sublime in this role. Rounding off the main cast are Joe Allen (Eddie/Dr Scott), Darcy Finden (Columbia), Suzie McAdam (Magenta/Usherette), Ben Westhead (Rocky) and Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff). Fun fact about Lavercombe; he has performed in this show more than anyone else in its history.

It’s a shame that the director does not come to receive their applause alongside the cast, because Christopher Luscombe has put Rocky Horror in the sparkliest, naughtiest, tightest corset I’ve seen it wear in a good many years.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show runs at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre from Tue 30th Jan – Sun 4th Feb


Photo credit: Duncan James

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