you know me in real life you will know that I am some sort of Rocky Horror aficionado having seen many different versions of this iconic movie. Whether it is the numerous times I have seen the original movie or the 2016 remake, the three times I have seen the live musical in a theatre or the two separate times I have attended cinema screenings of the musical! I have seen the show so many times that I could probably quote it line for line as it goes on! I was supposed to see the tour in May of this year which sadly was cancelled due to the current COVID outbreak but luckily it has been rescheduled for the upcoming February! This is why I was super excited to find out that Cineworld were going to do a live screening of the movie to celebrate the upcoming spooky season! If you have read my most recent movie review of “Venom 2 – let there be carnage” (if you haven’t it’s available at https://rhysreviews.com/2021/10/28/venom-2-movie-review/) you will know that I have recently returned to the classic and dependable Cineworld where I am now an unlimited member which means I have access to free cinema and discount of selected events. Due to this subscription, I was able to get £9 off my ticket to the live stream of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I pay £10 a month for my pass and I saved £9 in this one transaction so I have almost made my money back in this one ticket purchase!
What you have to keep in mind about the Rocky horror picture show is that the main attraction of the show is the atmosphere and audience. Throughout the show there are heckles from the show, everyone gets up to dance and sing along. If you are a theatre purist then this is probably not a show for you but if you want to just have some fun then this is a perfect night out! The cast that were performing in this performance were actually supposed to be the cast that I would have seen in May but now will be seen in Feb 2022! Headlining the tour is Ore Oduba who originally was a radio and television presenter but is now probably best known for his run on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. He was playing the part of Brad Majors who is pulled into a world of flamboyance and camp after his car breaks down during a journey with his new fiancé. I was pleasantly supposed by Ore’s performance as we all know that he can dance but Brad is not known for being a particularly dance-heavy role (and it wasn’t) but he surprisingly was a very entertaining acting/singing. His rendition of “Once in a While” was beautifully performed and was very emotionally moving to listen to! I have to admit that I found the choice to almost infantilising the Rocky horror was very strange. Rocky is a ‘perfect’ creature that the lead antagonist Frank N. Furter has created to marvel at. This character spends the majority of the show in just gold hot pants and so it is essential that they are particularly muscly and defined. Ben Westhead who played Rocky in this production was a very attractive man and so the appearance of the character was spot on! However, the childlike portrayal of the character was very strange (I understand the creative choice from the perspective of it’s the creatures birth and first day out) but it was impressive that Ben was able to stay in this strange character the entire show.
I really enjoyed Stephen Webb portrayal of the flamboyant Frank with the vocals being a particular highlight for this performance. His rendition of “Don’t Dream It, Be It” was absolutely incredible! Kristian Lavercombe yet again reprising his role of the eccentric Riff Raff which by now must be like a second skin for him! Everyone live performance I have seen has had Kristian as this same role and every single time he has absolutely nailed the role! Although, I don’t know what it is but this performance seemed very scaled back from the previous shows I have seen which was very strange. I have to say though that the highlight for me in this production would have to be Philip Franks who played the narrator. Phillip had the audience laughing throughout and was able to quickly respond to any heckles that were directed towards him. It must be insanely difficult to stay in character and respond to the audience when some of the strangest heckles are shouted in but Phillip didn’t seem fazed at all! He helped to bring the show into the modern day with jokes about Matt Hancock, two metres distance/social distancing and face shields which were brilliant.
Overall, as this was a cinema screening of a live production the atmosphere was a bit more withdrawn than you experience in a live performance. This was a great show for me to experience to further build more excitement for when I can finally see this show in February at the New Theatre Cardiff! The show itself is quite different from previous productions and so if you have seen it before then you won’t be bored due to the changes they have made. I would rate this production 4 out of 5 stars. If you are reading this review and are gutted that you missed out on this screening then you have a chance to experience the singalong movie version (not the musical unfortunately but there are props included in the price) in Barons Court Penarth, hosted to the amazing Pixie Perez and the fabulous Polly Amorous!