Review: Rocky Horror Show

LOUISE RIPLEY DUGGAN: ‘If you need reviving – even if you don’t – get out of the library, into some bondage gear and get ready to do the time warp (again).’

David Badella Frank 'N' Furter Rocky Horror Show time warp

Monday 3rd May – Saturday 8th May, 7.30 Monday-Thursday and 5.30 and 8.30 Friday-Saturday at The Corn Exchange.  From £25 with student stand by seats available. 

If your Caesarean Sunday was as good as mine, you’ll know just about how my Monday went. I spent the afternoon in the library rocking, muttering nonsense and wishing I was dead. The prospect of going anywhere – let alone the noise-fest that is the Rocky Horror Show – filled me with terror. 

That said, where tweens today have Miley, I had Rocky and the Transsexual Transylvanians, so I wasn’t going to back out. I was shocked to find that none of my friends knew what it was, and the unprepared boy I took was dumbfounded by the men and women in corsets and suspenders waiting outside. Not even they could have prepared him for the unreal experience that awaited us.

The costumes, the make up, the unadulterated extravagance! I was like a four-year-old who had eaten too many sweets within the first five minutes. This production was fantastically camp – as it should be – with added sparkle for good measure. Every number was sung perfectly, the dances were exhilarating and sexy – the whole performance was so utterly, fabulously mad that the entire audience of die-hard fans was practically frothing at the mouth. 

Rocky Horror transgresses the boundaries of gender and sexuality, disappearing into what is almost erotic. Within the first ten minutes of the show, you are ready for anything to happen. When Eddie jumps out of a box with what seems to be a lobotomy scar across his forehead and sings a rock and roll number before getting massacred with a chainsaw – all of this utterly unexplained, of course – the audience is delighted, not confused. 

Frank’N’Furter, played deliciously by David Bedella, is so disturbingly brilliant in his constant oscillations from sex maniac to vulnerable, terrified outcast that you find yourself believing that everyone in his mad-house really could want to have sex with him – damn it, you want to have sex with him by the end of the first half. You don’t care if he is man, a woman, human or alien – and this is the magic of the show. To quote the lyrics of the last big number: “Don’t dream it, be it”. 

Anyone can be anything in the world of Rocky Horror.  The crowds of screaming men – both gay and straight – in glittery platforms and the mass of grown adults doing the time-warp in lingerie on a Monday night were testament to the power the show holds. This production truly did this cult classic justice.

Go see this show. It is exactly what Cambridge students need in exam term, when we get stuck in our own heads and forget that life doesn’t just belong in the book-stacks. As Frank ‘N’ Furter says, “a little mind fuck is nice”, and this one is more of a mind orgy, really. If you need reviving – even if you don’t – get out of the library, into some bondage gear and get ready to do the time warp (again).