Actor Richard Meek talks about Rocky Horror Show’s enduring appeal as 50th anniversary show comes to Manchester

The Rocky Horror Show is back in Manchester celebrating its 50th anniversary this February at the Opera House.
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So, it is time to dust off your sequinned shorts, stockings and suspenders and have fun.

If you are a fan of the film, you will know that it became a cult hit and one of the longest-running theatrical releases in cinematic history, with the audience shouting the lines out and their interaction is key. And the stage show is just as spectacular.

Follow Brad and Janet into the mansion of Dr Frank’n’furter for an unforgettable night of singing, dancing, and surprises.

The up-tempo rock and roll musical brings a wild sense of fun and a party atmosphere to the stage. It’s all about inclusion and diversity, loving who you want to love, and being what you want to be.

Richard Meek plays bespectacled Brad, and he was part of the 40th and now the 50th-anniversary tour.

When asked what keeps him coming back for more he says: “It’s such an addictive feeling being part of it, the music, the energy of being on stage and the audience. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve been there in a packed audience and experienced that unity.”

The Rocky Horror Show audience may look a little different than your average theatregoer, but they are instantly recognisable.

Audiences are invited to come to the show dressed in lavish costumes, with big, backcombed hair, lots of glitter and sequins. Some even take the ‘less is more approach’ and arrive wearing nothing but white Y fronts and some tape covering their chest. Anything goes.

You are encouraged to take part in the show, dancing in your seats or shouting lines with prompts from the actors. Richard says: “Rocky fans all have their own script, and it turns into a back-and-forth with the audience, which is something you never normally get to experience in the theatre.”

Even if you are a Rocky Virgin, the soundtrack is instantly recognisable, everyone knows the Time Warp! The song has been played at Halloween parties and discos for decades. The fun musical number wouldn’t be complete without the iconic dance, it’s just a jump to the left and a step to the right, throwing in a few hip thrusts here and there for good measure.

“There’s a buzz at the end of the show that’s indescribable to the point that they will come back and back and back because it’s an unmissable night at the theatre,” says Richard.

The tour is going up and down the country, but when asked if he and the cast were excited about the dates at the Manchester Opera House he said: “I can speak for everybody, it is one of our favourite cities to perform in because Manchester is Manchester isn’t it!” And he adds, “Manchester is a total vibe.”

With this being the 50th-anniversary tour, Richard promised a few little surprises and secrets in the show, but to find out what they are, you will need to go along to one of the dates!

The Rocky Horror Show is at the Manchester Opera house from the 20th to the 25th of February, with tickets starting from just £10 and they can be booked here.

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