After the success of the special production of Rocky Horror for the Royal Court's 50th anniversary, the current UK touring production was convinced to drop by the West End for a 3 week limited run. And I got tickets!
I went to see it last night, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've been to see the film version in one of those audience participation screenings where people get dressed up, you get handed a bag of props as you go in (eg newspaper to cover your head as Janet and Brad are walking up to castle in the rain, because the ushers squirt the audience with water guns) and you shout out stuff throughout the film (eg whenever Janet's name is mentioned, the audience yell "SLUT!"). But this was a theatre in the West End. Surely that kind of stuff couldn't happen here....
Well, I was right about one of them. There were no props or water guns or stuff, but there were a few Magentas, Columbias and Frank n' Furters in the audience, and all the usual stuff was yelled out. It was a bit strange being sat in one of those theatres, where UK audiences are usually very restrained, to hear the words "SLUT" and "COCK" being shouted at every available opportunity. It got a bit annoying at times when people were just heckling and not shouting the traditional cult stuff, because it interrupted the flow of the show, but usually it was brilliant.
The best bit by far though was my friend's reaction. She knew nothing about Rocky Horror except that it had the Time Warp in it. So the first time someone yelled something out, she looked a bit scandalised! I had to quickly explain the whole thing under my breath (I would have done it earlier, but I had no idea that she didn't know what to expect) before she started drawing people dirty looks or she got up and walked out or something! And she was more than a little shocked when Frank n' Furter revealed his costume (I still can't believe that she didn't know about him!), but she was more into the spirit of the thing by this time, and it was a laughing shocked rather than a we're-british-and-don't-accept-that-kind-thing shocked!
All in all, it was a good night. I prefer the film version because it's more polished, and as fantastic as David Bedella was last night, Tim Curry is the original and best Frank n' Furter! But the show was still really good fun.
At least the next time I go to the theatre, it'll be outside, so I'll hopefully not feel like I'm melting throughout it!