A Virgin's Guide To... Rocky Horror

“This is not The Rocky Horror Show stage production” - a significant point of clarification in the Fringe programme lest anyone might think that this is the real thing. It is not, by a long way.

It’s the music, costumes, crazy story and audience participation that people turn up for.

Now, if you are uninitiated, uninformed, unsullied and undefiled - that is to say, a virgin - you might think that being taken through its audience participation “step by step” is just what you need. Unfortunately, that’s not what you will find in this production. Instead, what you will hear is a Wikipedia-style “history of the world's most outrageous musical” woven into the edited highlights of the original.

Accordingly, Riff Raff ultimately gets the party swinging with The Time Warp, although in this self-proclaimed didactic show, the omission of the flip-chart explaining the moves seemed to be a missed opportunity. What you will have learned is the tradition of shouting prescribed insults whenever certain people’s names are mentioned. When carefully handled by the cast, this can be an amusing diversion, but for the most part the exercise falls flat through poor timing and lack of control.

However, there’s nothing like a “a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" to liven things up and Frank certainly does that, holding the show together with his commanding presence and powerful voice. He is supported by the rest of the cast with varying degrees of success.

The Narrator, in particular, has a hard time making this history lesson come alive. There’s not really much you can do with a list of dates, productions, performances and development: who is really interested? It’s the music, costumes, crazy story and audience participation that people turn up for. 

Reviews by Richard Beck

Tristan Bates Theatre


Above the Stag Theatre

Kids Play

Tristan Bates Theatre

Revelation 1:18

Tristan Bates Theatre

No Help Sent


The Outsider (L’Étranger)

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Prairie Flower




The Blurb

Ever wondered how to do The Rocky Horror Show? Let us take you through the audience participation step by step while revealing the history of the world's most outrageous musical. A tribute to the genius of Richard O'Brien. ‘An anarchic, zany, sexy romp ... well conceived and cleverly scripted, filled full of audience participation and well-packed underwear’ (Edinburgh Evening News). Let's do the Timewarp again! Dress to distress (or just for prizes). This is not The Rocky Horror Show stage production.