Phil Willmott

Richard O'Brien and The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show Revivals of the cult musical THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW have made regular appearances in the West End since it started life in the 1970s in a small theatre off the Kings Road in Chelsea. But it was cinema that really established the piece as a classic.

When the student characters in the film FAME enjoyed watching, it set a trend for riotous screenings of the movie and performances of the stage show in which audience members dress up as the cast, yell out the catch phrases and join in the fun.

There’s not much of a plot but a young, nerdy couple stumble upon a creepy castle and receive a bizarre sexual education from the crazed inhabitants of joyously freaky residents.

It’s very funny, sexy and the tunes are great especially the party favourite, THE TIME WARP, with its famous dance moves that everybody can learn and do.

Christopher Luscombe’s production has been touring, on and off, for about a decade and a popular gimmick is that the narrator is played by guest celebrities. The big news is that for 11 days its latest West End visit will feature the show’s original creator and star of the film, Richard O'Brien, in this role.

It was my pleasure to direct O’Brien in his last stage appearance as the talking mirror, in SNOW WHITE. With such a popular star in the cast I expanded the role so that it was Snow White’s father who was imprisoned beneath the glass. I was nervous about working with him at first, he sent a long, long, intimidating fax (He didn’t like email) explaining his theories on the story. But from the moment I met him, showing up for rehearsals in 1980’s style leg warmers, he was an utter delight, an anarchic and creative force in the rehearsal room that was a pleasure to be around.

As well as THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW you may also remember him as one of the presenters of TV game show, THE CRYSTAL MAZE.

West End performances begin at the Playhouse Theatre on September 11th.

The Rocky Horror Show