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On This Gay Day | The Rocky Horror Show opened in London

The Rocky Horror Show is 51 years old today

After two previews, The Rocky Horror Show made its debut at the Royal Court’s 63-seat Upstairs Theatre on this day in 1973. The show was an instant success.

The outrageous musical was written by Richard O’Brien, and it tells the story of a sweet couple Brad and Janet, whose car breaks down late one rainy night. They head to the nearest house and ask to use the telephone, only to be drawn into the world of Dr Frank-N-Furter and his wild collection of followers. The suspender-wearing doctor is from an alien planet and creating a Frankenstein-like monster in his lab.

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After its initial run which run, the show was moved to a larger theatre and continued to be a constant feature of London’s theatre scene until it closed in 1980.

Most of the original cast also appear in the film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show which was released in 1975. Soon the show was on Broadway and opening all around the world, it’s remained popular for five decades!

Many stars of the stage and screen including Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf, Jerry Springer, Adam Lambert, Emma Bunton, Stephen Fry, Reg Livermore, Bert Newton, Gretel Killeen, Derryn Hinch, and Shane Jacobsen have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past 50+ years.

Many of the show’s songs have become well known including The Time Warp, Science Fiction / Double Feature, Sweet Transvestite and Hot Patootie.

Over the year’s we’ve written many stories about the musical, including interviews with creator Richard O’Brien and original cast member Patricia Quinn.

Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien still battling people with closed minds – 29th December 2017
On the Line – Audio interview with Richard O’Brien – 27th January 2018
Forever Magenta – 13th January 2012 

In our chat with Patricia Quinn, she shared that she initially turned down be part of the film production because she wouldn’t get to sing the song Science Fiction / Double Feature in the film version, where it was reassigned to a different character.

While she lost the song, she did end up filming the scene, she is the iconic red lips that open the film.

The stage version of the musical was revived for a new tour to celebrate its 50th birthday. While Jason Donovan has played the lead role on the east coast, the cast changed before the Perth season.

Joining the cast as Frank N Furter was three-time Olivier Award winning performer, David Bedella who returned to Australia for the first time since recreating his starring role in the critically acclaimed Jerry Springer: The Opera which played at Sydney Opera House in 2009. Also in the cast was Sound of Music star Nicholas Hammond.

OIP Staff

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