Rocky: A Horror Show proves that the other Rocky offerings were only placed on this earth as the ingredients for this show. After the world shattering success of Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears last Christmas at the Wardrobe the tickets for this show flew out of the door faster than a fast thing. If you are super quick and get in touch with the box office right now, you might be part of the glittering gang that have witnessed this gender blending, sparkly boxing, subversive new musical.
The Wardrobe Theatre are particularly phenomenal at the element of the unexpected. Having seen their last three shows there is nothing that is predictable about their productions. Gender swapping and character hopping are common though and both these aspects are shining glories in this production. Katy Sobey and James Newton cross the gender divide so utterly that it made me question the need to define any character by their gender. Katy gives a strong left hook while fighting Creed and James Newton’s fluttering eyelashes and pulsating lust under his/her heaving bosoms left the audience supporting her sexual exploration in a direct parody of Janet and Brad from The Rocky Horror Show.
Emma Keaveney-Roys’ versatility in the multitude of characters she plays is compelling. She brings the opposing force of straight faced commentator and feeds the flames of comedy. The stand out characters for me were Riff Raff and a tortoise, both delivered with a deadly dead pan. Apollo Creed played by Harry Humberstone embodied ‘Rocky Horror’ with red sequined knickers and a Russel Brand glint in his eyes. It would be surprising if he hadn’t taken something he shouldn’t have done by the end of the show. Nudge nudge wink wink.
The constants that remain throughout all the Wardrobe Theatre’s shows are exquisite timing, tight directing, stunning range of strong characters and a raucous alternative to mainstream Christmas theatre. The performers pause to highlight cheesy moments so they hang in the air like a damn good stilton for the audience to chew on. The political satire stirred into this piece is satisfying. Playfully toying with the ‘American dream’ throughout the show, the ending is a joyful celebration of humanity and the glorious multi-faceted melting pot that we all are.
Rocky: A Horror Show plays at The Wardrobe Theatre until 21st January 2017