“Join me on a night of unbridled debauchery, with more fake hair (and men in dresses) than you can shake a sexually ambiguous alien at!”
So anyone who knows me will tell you that Rocky Horror is my life. I was introduced to it far too early thanks to my friendship group of burgeoning punks, so from the age of five I could be seen playing around in my mum’s make-up and singing Sweet Transvestite on the bus to swimming lessons and back. Rocky provided me with a setting for first dates, a source of sleepover entertainment, and later on a way to come to terms with my queer identity.
Rocky influenced me profoundly as a performer too: when in dance lessons nobody else wanted the freaky, dark, even racy parts – I was first in line to channel my inner Frank-N-Furter. Through Rocky I found Cabaret! and my love for the tattier, grittier side of theatre, through Rocky I found the confidence to play characters like Bugsy Malone’s Tallulah, Chicago’s Roxie Hart and even Calamity Jane’s Francis Fryer. It’s fair to say I had lived the life of a unconventional conventionalist with one very important exception:
Until yesterday, I had never seen The Rocky Horror Show live.
I know I know, heresy right? Thankfully a late night impulse buy hooked me up, and I spent a month and a half putting an outfit together and making sure I knew all the call-outs by heart.
Me, my mum and my dad spent the entire day getting ready, arriving with ten minutes to spare and getting a metric heck-tonne of weird looks while running through town in heels to get to the venue. Once there though, all the pain and lost bobby pins became worth it.
It was a paradise. Everybody there was just like me, high on glitter and hairspray and the utter excitement of being a part of the magic. I’ve said before that Rocky is like a family and, surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes decked out in maid’s outfits, tightly-laced corsets and eight inch heels, it truly felt like it. I was home.
The show itself was incredible, people were kicking in the aisles and singing along like they were a part of the cast, and I even got one of the call-outs entirely to myself! Hearing the entire theatre laugh and the cast break character because of something I said was a truly unforgettable moment, and made me feel once and for all like I had earnt my stripes. Though there were some technical difficulties that stopped the show the night couldn’t have been better, from the first-time drag queens who complimented my hair to the charity cat I got selfies with in the foyer.
It was a night I won’t forget for a long time, and I know that wherever I go, I’ll carry a little bit of the floor show with me – both metaphorically and literally given all the merch I bought!
What about you guys? Have you got the Rocky Horror bug or are you a flat out Rocky virgin? Let me know, and as always: