Posted by: lucylastic | May 8, 2007

A night at the (sort of) Opera

I don’t know what it is about the totally camp and outrageous Rocky Horror Picture Show that I love, but love it I do – ever since I first saw the film on TV back in about 1985.  I went to see it live for the first time in 1987 and found myself at the Theatre Royal Bath last night, some 20 years on, doing the Time Warp and loving it as much as ever!  For those of you who know nothing about it, it’s an incredibly silly and flimsy plot – but with a brilliant and incredibly catchy musical score written by Richard O’Brien – who also appeared as the manservant Riff Raff, in the original TV film.  The story starts at a wedding and progresses through a stormy New Jersey night in the 1950s, Brad Majors and his fiancée Janet Weiss set out to drive to the home of their old science tutor – Dr Everett Scott. But when they find themselves lost in a torrential downpour with a puncture, there’s nothing to do but return to the Gothic mansion they passed a few miles back. When the door is opened by the seedy-looking Riff Raff they make the fatal decision to enter…I shan’t give any more away now – but if you have a free night this week, take a trip to Bath and check it out. 

One of the best aspects of the show is that members of the audience dress up as characters or just in a generic black stockings/suspenders/basque outfit and participate by throwing/using various items at certain points in the performance – e.g. Rice at the wedding, waving lighters during the song ‘there’s a light’, carrying a newspaper to put over your head to avoid the ‘storm’ (water pistols) etc.  Sadly, we live in a world afflicted by ‘Health & Safety’ rules and regulations and there were printed notices and warning announcements that the management would ‘not tolerate the use of naked flames, water pistols, rice and blah, blah, blah’  in the interest of cast and audience safety of course.  Quite sad really – as I have never heard of a theatre suffering from more than a bit of extra clearing up as a result of these props being deployed.  Still, a few brave souls persisted and were thankfully not ejected from the auditorium – well done them! 

Still on the subject of Rocky Horror, the Museeum Lichtspiele in Munich holds the world record for the longest ever run of the film version of Rocky Horror – and it is still showing it every single day in it’s theatre by the banks of the Isar – in fact, it’s been running there for something like 21 years!!!  And in stark contrast to the British approach, you can buy little ready-made packs in the reception area containing rice, lighters, tissue paper and various other accoutrements to use during the performance.  Vive la Difference!!!  I have attended once or twice – it’s great fun with a group of friends.  Promise.

Please take a minute or two to check out http://doingarunner.blogspot.com/  a site started by two fantastic ladies who, against many obstacles, are signed up to take part in the Race for Life on June 17th. It’s a light-hearted look at their preparations and a low-pressure opportunity to sponsor if you wish.  Go Girls!!!!

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