Dressed for Rocky Horror Show in Scarborough

It’s a jump to the left and then a step to the right for theatre box office manager Alex Briggs who cannot wait to do the Time Warp again.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th September 2015, 10:04 am
Rocky Horror comes to the SJT, with Alex Briggs ready to perform
Rocky Horror comes to the SJT, with Alex Briggs ready to perform

Dressed in fishnets, corset and stilettos and in full make-up, white face, dark eyes, Alex will be in the audience for a live streaming from the Playhouse in the West End where the Rocky Horror Show is playing to packed houses.

Richard O’Brien, who wrote the musical – a rock show inspired by sci-fi B movies and Hammer House of Horror films – is back in the cast for the first time as Narrator in 20 years.

He will be joined by guest stars Stephen Fry, Mel Giedroyc and Emma Bunton for the fundraiser – being screened in cinemas the length and breadth of the country.

Twenty-five-year-old Alex was introduced to the show via the film the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

“My mum gave me a DVD of it when I was 15. I’m not sure she knew what it was like,” he said. “But, I loved it.”

He then went to see the show at the Grand Opera House in his home town of York – and was completely hooked going back four times.

He has seen the live show up to a dozen times and the film on countless occasions.

“I did not know what to expect the first time I saw it but now I get really involved.”

For the uninitiated the Rocky Horror Show opened at the Royal Court in London in 1975 with Tim Curry in the lead role of Dr Frank N Furter – a transvestite (hence the corsets, fishnets and heels).

It has become a cult classic and world wide hit.

The plot: on the way to visit an old college professor, two clean-cut kids, Brad Majors and his fiancée Janet Weiss, run into tyre trouble and seek help at the site of a light down the road. It’s coming from the Frankenstein place, where Dr Frank N Furter is in the midst of one of his maniacal experiments assisted by butler Riff Raff and the seductive vamp Magenta.

The show takes audience participation to a whole new level – it’s more than a sing-along Mamma Mia or Sound of Music. Rice, water pistols, call-outs, newspapers, toast, Kit-Kats and party hats are just a few of the things every self-respecting fan takes along.

“You do what you want to do and you respect everyone else there – you become friends for the night and it is a great atmosphere,” said Alex, who has worked at the Stephen Joseph Theatre since November last year.

“Part of the appeal is being with like-minded people. If you grew up being a bit different then you can relate to the show,” he said. “It’s a weird and wacky world where anything goes.”

There is also show etiquette which includes never criticising others’ costumes or talking over ‘call-outs’ to the cast.

“Everyone is welcome at the Rocky Horror Show - from aged 16 upwards – and you can either sit back and watch it or get dressed up and really get involved. As long as you come with an open mind, that’s the main thing.”

He also likes Little Shop of Horrors. “I could watch it every day. Like Rocky Horror Show there is something ‘underground’ and different about it.”

Alex studied theatre at Loughborough University before working for the Ambassador Theatre Group in London for three years. His intention was to be a director but that ambition has evolved in to writing. His first script – about the dangers of loan sharks – will be performed by young people from the theatre’s OutReach company 
next year.

The live streaming is at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, and Pocklington Arts Centre, on Thursday September 17 at 7pm