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Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show ****

Scott Purvis reviews 'a rip-roaring night of absolute pleasure'.

Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show is doing the Time Warp in Glasgow once again. The perfect marriage of smut and song, Christopher Luscombe's second production of this raucous show is a fun and frenetic festival of colour and light which invites the audience to strap themselves in for a wild ride of sexuality and sin.

This is what Danny and Sandy might have gotten up to during that infamous six weeks of "Summer Lovin'". It's the classic American love story, really: boy meets girl; boy and girl set off to celebrate their engagement; boy's car tyre explodes; boy and girls seeks refuge in the arms of a mad scientist with a penchant for killer heels and, before you can say "consent", they're both wearing suspenders and contemplating the Karma Sutra. Throw in a Frankenstein-inspired creation in a pair of ridiculously small briefs, a tap-dancing pixie and an incestuous butler with a hump (ahem...) and you have one of the sassiest, sexiest shows ever.

O'Brien's Bowie-esque songs are amongst the finest in musical theatre, marrying lyrical beauty and wit with genuinely fun melodies. The audience literally jump out of their seats when the ‘Time Warp’ chimes in, and the very building bounces with glee through most of the songs. This is pure, unrivalled entertainment.

The cast pleases the audience like Dr. Frank N. Furter with a box of Viagra. Richard O'Brien famously said that the actor playing Frank N. Furter should be able to seduce both husband and wife, and former Blue singer Duncan James achieves this. Grizzly and gruff but still camp as a pair of kitten heels, his buff, tattooed Frank has the audience screaming with delight. Although he's not entirely confident on his feet, James captures the raw sexuality of the character, if not always the smooth vocal.

Flanking Frank, James Darch is endearing and energetic and Joanne Clifton is tweely funny as Janet and her footwork is more than fancy. Perhaps the greatest joy of the night is Philip Franks' exceptional narrator - his sense of comedy has better timing than Big Ben. Franks' responses to the infamous audience callbacks are witty and eloquent, and he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand throughout.

The Rocky Horror Show is a rip-roaring night of absolute pleasure, a glorious light show of the dark which grabs its audience by the head, pops a kazoo in their mouth and shouts "blow!"

The Rocky Horror Show continues its UK tour.

Tags: theatre

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