Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW UK TOUR, Theatre Royal Brighton

Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW UK TOUR, Theatre Royal Brighton

Currently at Theatre Royal Brighton until January

Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW UK TOUR, Theatre Royal Brighton

What have I just witnessed?

That was my overriding thought as I wandered out of the Theatre Royal Brighton, dumbstruck, baffled, fascinated and charmed by this extraordinary production.

Now, let me give some context to the review that's about to follow - I had never seen a production of The Rocky Horror Show until last night, nor have I seen the film. I was familiar with the score of course, and of the general premise as it's so deeply embedded in mass culture (who HASN'T done the time warp in a sixth form disco or at a wedding?) but seeing it live is an uncomfortably enthralling experience.

In case you've also been living under a rock like myself, let me break it down for you.

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, an innocent young couple who stumble into the weird and wacky world that Dr Frank'n'Furter has created when their car breaks down outside his castle. What follows is a bizarre combination of sex, rock 'n' roll, horror and hilarity. Narratively speaking, it's not rocket science, but it doesn't pretend to be.

It rose to mass fame in 1975 when it was made into a film after several successful runs in various London theatres and this cult status was palpable within seconds of entering the theatre during the Brighton run of this World Tour, directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Audience members were wearing anything from bedazzled top hat and tails to full-on cosplay - the atmosphere was electric before the show even began. And once it did, my face must have been a quizzical picture because - as a newbie to the Rocky Horror experience - every beat took me at least 10 seconds to work out what was going on. But this production isn't designed for people like me, it's squarely aimed at the fans and based on the reaction from the crowd, it achieved its goal.

Every single cast member is utterly mesmerising and seductive. Aside from looking like they're having the time of their lives, the vocal ability across the board is stellar and the overall performances are gloriously and intentionally kitsch and tongue-in-cheek. Stephen Webb's Dr Frank'n'Furter is a standout performance. Full of bold brassy vocals and sinister sex appeal, he could could lure even the most chaste person into his bed chamber.

Hugh Durrant's set design is simple and functional, taking a backseat to create space for the bounding energy on stage. It's the costumes that are the star of the stage - Sue Blane has created visual feast for us to dine out on, imbuing every piece with the extravagant theatrics that The Rocky Horror Show has come to be known for.

This World tour of the The Rocky Horror Show is as subversive and sexy as you'd expect, but it's the perfectly placed cast that make it really fly. If you're not part of the core fanbase of the show or film, it might feel a little bit like being at a party you weren't invited to but with an open heart and mind, you'll be captivated in no time.

The Rocky Horror Show is at Theatre Royal Brighton until 7 January, then touring

Photo credit: David Freeman (previous cast)



Flabbergasts THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH Comes to Southwark Playhouse Photo
Following a hugely successful Edinburgh Festival 2022 run, award-winning Flabbergast Theatre are bringing their highly critically acclaimed The Tragedy of Macbeth to Southwark playhouse for a four-week run.

Jamie Bogyo Will Join Michael Ball in ASPECTS OF LOVE Photo
 It has been announced that Jamie Bogyo - who made his professional theatre debut in the lead role of Christian in the smash hit West End production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical - will play Alex, the role that Michael Ball himself originated in 1989.  Learn more about the production and how to purchase tickets here!

Jools Holland Announces Autumn Tour 2023 and Special Guests Photo
Musical maestro Jools Holland and his revered Rhythm & Blues Orchestra have announced the run of dates and special guests of their 2023 Autumn/Winter UK tour.

Review: MY SONS A QUEER, (BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?), Ambassadors Theatre Photo
There is beauty in the simplicity of this concept. My Son's A Queer (But What Can You Do?) is a tale about growing up. More specifically, the 'ups and downs of raising a queer child.' It is also clearly a production made for and by generations of theatre kids, the kind who prefer to stay in the dress-up section of the school (especially if it gets them out of a football match).


From This Author - Caroline Cronin

Caroline has over seven years' experience as a theatre journalist, spanning three different publications. Now an established member of the BroadwayWorld team, Caroline specialises in musical th... (read more about this author)


Review: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW UK TOUR, Theatre Royal BrightonReview: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW UK TOUR, Theatre Royal Brighton
January 5, 2023

What have I just witnessed? That was my overriding thought as I wandered out of the Theatre Royal Brighton, dumbstruck, baffled, fascinated and charmed by this extraordinary production of The Rocky Horror Show.

Review: MOTHER GOOSE, Theatre Royal BrightonReview: MOTHER GOOSE, Theatre Royal Brighton
December 11, 2022

As a self-professed panto enthusiast, Mother Goose has never been a favourite of mine...until now. This high profile production written by Jonathan Harvey is a super smart interpretation which has been updated sympathetically for 2022 without losing the original intent.

BWW Review: ZORRO THE MUSICAL, Charing Cross TheatreBWW Review: ZORRO THE MUSICAL, Charing Cross Theatre
April 13, 2022

Zorro the Musical has lived many lives before its latest engagement at the Charing Cross Theatre. From the West End Production of 2008-09 to this production’s first outing at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, which was cruelly cut short just two previews in by the pandemic. It bursts into its new home with fiery abandon.

BWW Review: BROKEN WINGS, Charing Cross TheatreBWW Review: BROKEN WINGS, Charing Cross Theatre
February 17, 2022

I’m not sure I was prepared for what I witnessed as I sat in the round of the Charing Cross Theatre, awaiting the overture for Broken Wings which I’d heard so much buzz about. An adaptation of a poetic novel by Gibran Khalil Gibran, Broken Wings is pitched by Director Bronagh Lagan as being a “tale of first love, loss and identity”.

BWW Interview: Gerard Carey and Josefina Gabrielle Talk LES MISERABLESBWW Interview: Gerard Carey and Josefina Gabrielle Talk LES MISERABLES
February 15, 2022

Having joined the cast of Les Misérables at the newly refurbished Sondheim Theatre back in December 2019, Gerard Carey and Josefina Gabrielle have had quite the rollercoaster experience as everyone's favourite rogues, the Thénardiers. Between them, their list of theatre credits is impressive and despite having never met prior to the show, Carey and Gabrielle have united to create a strong partnership throughout multiple lockdowns and two different productions.