REVIEW: ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Sunderland Empire)
With just a jump to the left and step to the right the Rocky Horror show dances its way into Sunderland this week. And over 43 years later this tour is still as fresh as ever.
Whilst previous leads have played Frank as sophisticated and mysterious, Liam Tamne gave a fresh, vibrant and brilliantly scandalous performance as Frank ‘n’ Furter, with spot on comic timing. Excitable like a child in a sweet shop his vocals – especially in his final solo piece – were outstanding and he seemed to love the audience as much as they loved him, interacting well.
The narrator in Rocky Horror can make or break a performance as the interaction with the audience is a crucial part of the show. Steve Punt is fabulous in the show dealing with the hecklers and shouting, with witty asides and never putting down or insulting the audience.
Brad and Janet are played by Ben Freeman and Diana Vickers, both have excellent voices and portray young and naive with perfect charm. Paul Cattermole was unfortunately indisposed but Zachary Morris gave us his superb version of Eddie/Dr Scott.
Filling the shoes of Richard O’Brien is Kristian Lavercombe, a near perfect version of Riff Raff. His mannerisms, acting and comic timing show why he has played the role more times than his creator.
There isn’t a weak link in this show at all, performers, musicians and outstanding production make this one of the best version of Rocky Horror to tour in a long time.
It’s a fan favourite, full of innuendo, an adult pantomime, camper than Christmas, and a guaranteed standing ovation when the audience rises as one to do an encore of the Time Warp.
Reviewed by Lindsay Sykes
The Rocky Horror Show is playing in Sunderland until 20 February and then on tour around the UK