MyShrewsReviews: The Rocky Horror Show
07 Mar 2023

Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show has landed at Theatre Severn - and what a production it is! Now celebrating its 50th anniversary world tour, it's 'gloriously bonkers' and just rude enough. Review by David Ballinger

Time is fleeting – or so Richard O’ Brien would have us believe.

And yet, his Rocky Horror Show, which landed in Shrewsbury last night for a week’s run, is celebrating with its 50th anniversary world tour.

It’s a gloriously bonkers night of fast-paced action, music and dance as O’Brien’s homage to 1950s science fiction B movies and rock ’n roll plays out – and as the theatre website points out in what could be the understatement of the year ‘This show has rude parts’.

It’s the musical numbers which help drive the show, helped in this production by a wonderful vocal ensemble who all hit the right notes.

Philip Franks is in imperious form as the Narrator, dealing with all the audience ‘partici-pation’ (there is plenty) with aplomb and even manages to fit in a reference to Ditherington somehow.

It is the story of all-American sweethearts Brad and Janet whose car breaks down in a storm on a trip to see their former college professor Dr Scott, and they seek refuge in a nearby creepy mansion.

It’s fair to say their lives are never the same again.

Richard Meek and Haley Flaherty take to the roles of Brad and Janet with relish, with outstanding vocal performances as they belt their way through their true voyage of discovery.

At the mansion, after being introduced to the Time Warp, they meet Frank N Furter who makes a suitably understated entrance (not) before leading the young couple astray on a night of mayhem and debauchery.

Stephen Webb takes the role here and manages to take on the mantle in a suitable style whilst also allowing the rest of the cast to shine.

Special mention to Darcy Finden who takes on the role of Columbia in one of her first roles out of drama school with energy, verve and a cracking voice.

It’s nearly 40 years since I first saw a Rocky Horror production in Manchester. The world has changed and yet the show, which is directed by Christopher Luscombe, still resonates with its audience, many of whom dress up to be a part of it – a fair few in Shrewsbury last night and probably more as the week goes on.

They are no longer allowed to take in the likes of rice, water pistols, toilet rolls, newspaper, lighters and Kit-Kats which led to much mayhem back then. 

These days mobile phones do the job of the ‘light over at Frankenstein’s place’ but maybe are not so good as a newspaper at protecting from the rain!

But O’Brien’s show has stood the test of time as a packed Theatre Severn showed on a Monday night with full audience partici-pation in the encore of the Time Warp.

This is a fast-paced, furious and fun production of escapism and naughty bits with a cast giving their all.

There are just a few tickets left for this week’s shows – check out