Julie Atherton to star as Janet in Shock Treatment, the “equal-sequel” to the Rocky Horror Picture Show

julie-atherton-2Avenue Q star Julie Atherton is to play Janet in the highly anticipated Rocky Horror sequel, a role previously played by Jessica Harper in the film and made famous by Susan Sarandon in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As well as her roles as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in the original London cast of Avenue Q, Atherton also starred as Sister Mary Robert in the first UK tour of Sister Act: The Musical and recently won critical acclaim in the title role in Thérèse Raquin at the Finborough Theatre and the Park Theatre. Her third album, Rush of Life, was released at the end of 2014.

Rosanna Hyland takes on the role of Betty Hapschatt which was played by ­Ruby Wax in the 1981 film. Hyland’s performance in Urinetown opposite Richard Fleeshman wowed critics and audiences alike in 2014.

Nearly a quarter of a century after its film release, creator Richard O’Brien and composer Richard Hartley collaborate with Tarquin Productions to bring the “equal-sequel” to the incredible cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the stage. Predicting the rise of reality TV, Shock Treatment sees the return of Brad and Janet as they get sucked into a world of crazed contestants, fame-hungry presenters and money-grabbing executives both in front and behind the cameras. With a live band performing Richard Hartley’s newly revised score in the intimate confines of the King’s Head Theatre, this long awaited production goes back to Rocky Horror’s roots by letting the audience get up close and personal.

The Rocky Horror Show, with book, music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien premiered at the Royal Court in 1973 and was adapted for film in 1975. Three of the original cast appeared in the film, including Tim Curry in his feature film debut, as well as Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff. The film became a global phenomenon and is still shown in cinemas four decades later. Shock Treatment, released in 1981 and labeled “the perfect cult movie” by the BBC’s Mark Kermode, reunited O’Brien with Rocky Horror’s director Jim Sharman as book writer, and the film’s musical arranger Richard Hartley as composer. The film included original cast members Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn and Little Nell in new roles, and cameos from Ruby Wax, Charles Gray, Barry Humphries and Rik Mayall.

Tarquin Productions was established in 2011 by artistic director Benji Sperring, and are known for producing the world premiere of Ivor Novello’s final musical Valley of Song (Finborough 2014). The company aim to rejuvenate forgotten plays for the contemporary stage, with particular focus on shows that fit their motto “Glitter and Twisted”: work with a strong aesthetic, and a darker side of the human psyche. Their past productions include Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna (Old Red Lion 2013), and double bill The Blind and The Intruder (Old Red Lion and Tabard Theatre 2013). www.tarquinproductions.co.uk

@Tarquin_UK | www.kingsheadtheatre.com | #ShockTreatmentMusical

Running Time: 1hr 30mins (no interval) | Suitable for ages 12+


The Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN
17th April to 9th May Tues – Sat 9pm, midnight Fri & Sat night
19th May – 6th June Tues – Sat 9.45pm
£25 – £10 | www.kingsheadtheatre.com | 0207 478 0160

Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Music by Richard Hartley
Book by Jim Sharman
Adapted for stage by Tom Crowley and Benji Sperring
Directed by Benji Sperring
Set Design by Tim Shortall
Musical Direction and Arrangement by Alex Beetschen
Choreography by Lucie Pankhurst
Costume Design by Xylona Appleton
Make-up and Hair by Abigail Gargas
Casting by Liz Bichard
Lighting Design by Nic Farman
Production management by Tom Kitney
Stage Management by Jack Dormer
Assistant Direction by Helen Donnelly