REVIEW: The Rocky Horror Show, Sunderland Empire, Until February 20
Pull up your stockings, attach your suspenders and get ready for the sexiest and funniest night out you'll ever have.
It's time to do the Time Warp again as those sweet transvestites from Transsexual, Transylvania have landed in Sunderland.
Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show kicked off its run at the Empire and it was as wonderfully-chaotic as ever.
This show is one of my absolute favourites and this production ticks every single box.
It's funny, filthy, outrageous and infectious - I defy anyone not to have the time of their life.
It tells the ridiculous story of newly-engaged All-American couple Brad (Ben Freeman) and Janet (Diana Vickers) who are detoured on their way to visit old friend Dr Scott (Zachary Morris standing in for Paul Cattermole).
They find themselves embroiled in an unusual series of events when they seek shelter at a castle where Frank-N-Furter (Liam Tamne) is due to unveil the creature he has created - muscle man Rocky (Dominic Andersen).
The show is like no other out there. Die-hard fans shout out and join in as the Narrator (Steve Punt) sets the scene. There were a few people who took it a little too far though, shouting out on their own in an attempt to raise laughs during moments that didn't really call for it. Punt handled them well though, easily steering the show back on course.
Tamne is brilliant as Frank. His entrance to number Sweet Transvestite stirred up lots of excitement. He looked glorious in his barely-there costume and gave a show-stopping sexual performance as he sauntered around the stage making everyone his play thing.
Vickers has left behind her sugary-sweet X Factor days and truly embraced the role, getting down and dirty as the not-so-innocent Janet.
Freeman is brilliantly-funny as Brad and Andersen is suitably-ripped and unbelievably-gorgeous as Rocky - he certainly made the ladies swoon.
Kristian Lavercombe is an impressive Riff Raff and Sophie Linder-Lee and Kay Murphy made the roles of Columbia and Magenta, respectively, their own.
Every single cast member, including the four Phantoms, gave a phenomenal performance - they were having just as much fun as we were.
Songs like Dammit, Janet!, Eddie's Teddy, and Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me had everyone singing along.
Audience members waved lights and torches during Over at the Frankenstein Place and fell into silence for Tamne's beautiful rendition of Rose Tint My World.
I spotted a few young children in the audience and couldn't help but think the show was a little inappropriate for them. The term 'sexual references' doesn't really cover it, the rock 'n' roll show is exceedingly-erotic from start to finish, so it may not be the best one to take the kids along to.
But as for the adults, if you haven't seen this show yet, where have you been?
And if you have seen it, give yourself over to absolute pleasure and see it again.
I could watch this show every single night and never get bored.
The finale brought everyone to their feet for one more Time Warp as they erupted in rapturous applause, showering the cast with the love they deserved.
The Rocky Horror Show runs until Saturday, February 20. Click here to book tickets.