Our curtain opens up on inexperienced, but, the newly engaged couple, Janet (Joanne Clifton) and Brad (Ben Adams) on route to see their former tutor Dr Scott (Ross Chisari). Getting a flat they end up at an old castle seeking a telephone, and their evening changes into an intriguing night of sexual experiences and aliens.
Dom Joly is our narrator, and the role is the one that the audience has become clearly absorbed into over the years, garnering the bulk of the interaction. He gives what feels like a good performance and he handles the audience mostly well, but it's difficult to know how much of the shout-outs are expected. Observing the audience though, it wasn't totally clear that those fans of old were all totally on his side. As Rocky himself, Callum Evans gives a stunningly acrobatic performance, pulling some jaw drawing moves at times. These moves won't be the only thing that the men of the audience will be jealous of, as he clearly has the physical appearance required for Frank's "perfect" creation.
The musical numbers are slick and nicely choreographed by Nathan M Wright, with perhaps the best of the show represented in Over At The Frankenstein Place, the first opportunity of the superb ensemble Phantoms to show their skills.
George Carter directs a brilliant band, filling the theatre with O'Brien's sparkling tunes, and it all looks a delight on Hugh Durrant's stunning set, a mixture of cartoon and gothic, and neatly tying in the B-movie influence with a spiralling film reel around the top.
The Rocky Horror Show is unlike any theatre show you will have seen before. Sometimes the audience gives you a feeling that you have stumbled into a private club or cult, and you will experience behaviour you will almost certainly not have experienced before. None of this detracts from the fact that you should see this touring version if you haven't seen Rocky before. Don't be scared of the men in suspenders, and embrace the madness of O'Brien's world, nicely created in this version which may well be landing at a theatre near you soon as it continues its long tour.
A vibrant looking and a perfectly kinky new version of the classic musical.
Performance reviewed: Monday 4th February 2019 at Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes.
The Rocky Horror Show runs at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 9th February 2019 before continuing its tour. Details at https://www.rockyhorror.co.uk/
Further details about Milton Keynes Theatre can be found at http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre/
Photos: David Freeman