Bristol Hippodrome

Rocky Horror Show

June 2019

16.  Duncan James (Frank) - credit Johan

Lay, lady lay on chaste chaise 

PHOTOS: From top two images of Duncan James as Frank © Johan Persson; Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff), Stephen Webb (formerly Frank), Dom Joly (The Narrator), Ross Chisari (Dr Scott) and Miracle Chance © David Freeman; Laura Harrison (Magenta), Duncan James, Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff), Miracle Chance (Columbia) and Callum Evans (Rocky) © Richard Davenport. 

It's funny, it's freaky, it's also fabulous and we love it.

Written by Richard O'Brien, Rocky Horror Show is a worldwide classic and has a cult following of die hard fans.

Despite it being more than 40 years old, still feels as exciting to audiences as when it first premiered in a tiny upstairs theatre in London in 1973.

The story follows newly engaged and squeaky-clean couple, Brad and Janet, who are forced to stop their car when it gets a flat tyre.

They take shelter in the nearby grand, gothic mansion which is owned by transvestite Frank N Furter who is aided and abetted by his servants Riff Raff and Magenta. 

From there the storyline takes twists and turns as you see Frank’s creation, Rocky, who was made to be the ‘perfect human’ come to life.

However, this is not before amid all the chaos the transvestite tries his/her seduction techniques on both Brad and Janet.

The extravagant musical which opened at the Bristol Hippodrome this week stars Blue singer and Hollyoaks actor Duncan James as Frank.

Judging by the reaction of the fans, he did a grand job belting out Rocky Horror hits Sweet Transvestite and I'm Going Home, owning every inch of the stage.

He is almost unrecognisable under the wig and full face of makeup but proves a natural at dancing in high heels.

James Darsh and former Strictly Come Dancing professional Joanne Clifton have great chemistry as Brad and Janet, while Clifton gets a chance to use some of her Strictly skills during Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me.

My girlfriend Millie, a Rocky Horror virgin, accompanied me to a preview press night on Monday, June 17, and commented on how vital Dom Joly’s role as the narrator is when watching the 'camp, confusing, and crazy' show for the first time.

She thought you could easily get a little overwhelmed with the plot and he helps to bring it all together explaining the situation but also providing comedy into his monologues.

For me it just gets better and better, but this is the third time of seeing - and I will be going with the gang for any repeats in Bristol.

One of the first things you notice about the show, before you even get to your seat, is the dedicated fans.

With many audience members dressing up provocatively as characters from the show, grown men with beards and a tight pink corset is not an uncommon sight at Rocky Horror Show.

Unfortunately I went straight from my city centre office job so no time to get into my French maid's costume complete with black stocking and satin suspenders for this show.

Throughout the performance audience participation is encouraged with crude and comical comments being shouted with perfect timing to match the script of the cast.

It’s a raucous night at the theatre unlike any other.

And of course, you get to do pelvic thrusting The Time Warp – it is irresistible.

One of the world's most popular musicals (and I can see why now) this show is energetic, loud and, let's face it, pretty sexy.

The show plays until Saturday, June 22, I urge you to go.

For tickets from £13 plus booking fee click HERE.

Renée Butler 

23.  Kristian Lavercombe (Riff Raff), St
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2. Laura Harrison(Magenta) Duncan James(
10. Miracle Chance(Columbia) Credit Rich