The Rocky Horror Show
Blackpool Opera House, until Saturday 29th June

This is a show that needs no introduction. Even if you've never seen it you will most likely have done the Time Warp. It’s astounding and it’s definitely in another dimension – and that’s why 40 years after its West End debut the Rocky Horror Show is a cult smash hit musical.

I caught the anniversary tour of Richard O’Brien’s shockingly fabulous production at Blackpool Opera House, the perfect venue for this glam rock meets Frankenstein meets Funny Girls spectacular. 

The excitement begins even before curtain up, with audience members who have yet to lose their "Rocky Horror virginity" learning from the more experienced. Seasoned fans arrived with props for various parts of the show, and dressed in a fabulous array of fishnets, basques and high heels.

From the second it begins, the performance is fast and furious, with little needed in the way of fancy sets – the main thing is that there’s plenty of pink, purple, red and black shimmer, and a nice big upright bed for the more racy scenes.

Obviously, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids whose car breaks down at a creepy mansion. They meet Dr Frank ‘N’ Furter, the sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, and his equally flamboyant family and friends. And so begins the path to the young couple's corruption – and also that of Frank’s creation Rocky Horror, a tanned and golden, back-flipping creature played by champion acrobatic gymnast Callum Evans.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, this production is wonderfully cast, 
Kristian Lavercombe's comic timing as the narrator was spot on and he has the required genius ability to come up with witty retorts to the audience’s famous talk-back lines.

But for me the real revelation is Duncan James. A fan of Blue from my clubbing days, I first saw him on stage as Jack in Birmingham Hippodrome’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk in 2014. James began to pursue his first love of musical theatre when the Blue Boys took a break from performing together, and his natural ability took him quickly to the West End, with parts including Billy Flynn in Chicago and Warner Huntington in Legally Blonde. And now he appears to have stepped effortlessly into the high heels of the larger than life character of Frank ‘N’ Furter.

We already know what a great singer James is from Blue, but the combination of his vocal talent with the likeable, comic and outrageous persona he creates means his performance is as entertaining and charismatic as it can get, and his renditions of the iconic songs Sweet Transvestite and I'm Going Home are superb.

Time is fleeting to catch this show in Blackpool – there are just two more nights to go. Book tickets here:

And for those who are nervous about it being their first time, check out the Virgin’s guide here:

After Blackpool it’s Dublin, further information on tour dates and bookings here: