Review: The Rocky Horror Show @ New Theatre, Cardiff

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The Rocky Horror Show | New Theatre, Cardiff | Mon 21st November 2016

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Sex, Drag and Rock n’ Roll!

How strange is the Rocky Horror Show? According to the narrator, “Stranger than the words ‘President Trump’!”

I have to agree with him there!

I’ve never been one for audience participation. I would cringe at pantomimes when I was younger and sink as far down in my seat as I could get if I was dragged along to one. Rocky Horror was always the one exception for me. I would usually go dressed up as Magenta or Columbia, bring my props along (when they were allowed) and join in with every part of it, eagerly waiting to jump out of my seat to do the Time Warp. Surrounded by other freaks, misfits and creatures of the night – it was a place I always felt I could fit in, no judgement from others, everyone there to have a crazy time. One thing I always loved about Rocky Horror is that you could go there and not know a single person but by the end of the night you’d leave with a multitude of new friends, all brought together as a community of outcasts. For many, it feels like going home.

Setting the Scene

The set, as always, was brilliant. Simple, colourful, eccentric and brilliant. Hugh Durrant did a wonderful job, along with Nick Richings as the Light Designer. The effects and lighting worked perfectly with the props and set, lighting up the curtains like a serpent, giving the illusions of being underwater and even having strobe lights on the audience during the Time Warp. I’m fairly certain every colour that could have been used was used.

Introducing Liam Tamne as Frank-N-Furter

Tamne was, in my opinion, the perfect Frank. I’ve seen the show live many times, all good Franks, but there was just something special about the way Tamne portrayed the character. He really got into the role, adding a certain depth to Frank that I’ve not seen before. He also put his own little spin on the character, which had the audience lapping him up. As Frank-N-Furter says, “It’s not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache.” But with Tamne in the role, he makes having a good time the easiest thing you can do! Kudos!

Casting call

The rest of the cast were brilliant. I got to see Paul Cattermole (Eddie/Dr. Scott) in fishnets and high heels – something my nine-year-old self (big S Club fan) never knew she needed to see! The Narrator (Philip Franks) was hilarious – when asking ‘what was over’ there as a cat call “Your career!”, he promptly replied, “Actually, you’re quite right! The rest of the week, the narrator is played by Hillary Clinton – I hear she is available now!”.

Kay Murphey played Magenta really well – although, I do hope someone immediately casts her in Chicago as soon as Rocky Horror closes. She’d be brilliant in Cell Block Tango! Rocky is usually played by a man with ‘blonde hair and a tan‘ but casting brunette, Dominic Andersen in the role was a great idea. He really brings the role to life, allowing more of a dynamic that the audience can sympathise with.


Sophie Linder-Lee brought plenty of energy to her role as Columbia – one of my favourite parts of the evening had to be when she was ‘gassed’  with something that made her just a little bit high, causing her to go on a bit of a tangent for a couple of minutes… at one point, humming the Harry Potter theme enthusiastically. Riff Raff was played by Kristian Lavercombe and really, if we can’t have Richard O’Brien playing him, Lavercombe is the only other person I want to see in that tatty old butler outfit!

Brad and Janet were played by Richard Meek and Haley Flaherty respectively. Both good in their roles and getting the ‘naive virgin’ part down. It was fun to see how they portrayed the characters as they began to dip their toes into the ‘darkness’ and even starting to welcome it towards the end, being corrupted by Frank.

I would say, if you are a fan of Rocky Horror, enjoy a good live show or are just a little bit of a freak – go and see it! Go on! Book your ticket now! I promise you, if you do – the master will be pleased! Just be ready to go a little bit insane when you’re doing the Time Warp for the third time!

The Rocky Horror Show is in The New Theatre in Cardiff until Saturday 26th November 2016 – book here!

Rating: 10/10

If you’re still not convinced, watch the trailer below!

Image and video credits:

New Theatre Facebook page, Rocky Horror Show Facebook page, Rocky Horror official website

Related Articles & Info:

See all reviews @ New Theatre

Review: Ghost The Musical @ New Theatre, Cardiff

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