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Let’s do the time warp again: ‘Rocky Horror’ sequel hits London stage after 30 years


“Shock Treatment” was written by “Rocky
Horror” creator Richard O’Brien and made
into a film in 1981 but it did not have the
success of the original musical, which has
built up a big international cult following
over the decades.
Following “Rocky Horror” characters Brad
and Janet into a world of television media,
“Shock Treatment” is now being staged for
the first time at a London theatre with the
go-ahead from O’Brien and music composer
Richard Hartley.
Directed by Benji Sperring and adapted for
the stage by Tom Crowley, the production
has cut the film’s cast from around 20 roles
to seven and has reworked the script.
“The film was a bit of a mess really but we
always thought we had some good songs
and when Benji approached us about putting
it on stage, I thought why not?” Hartley told
“It’s been completely re-imagined by Tom
Crowley and it’s become a show for today.”
Sperring said he had pursued O’Brien for
nearly 10 years to get the rights to stage the
show. He finally agreed but on the condition
that it be put on at a small venue — just as
“Rocky Horror” was when it made its
theatrical debut in 1973.
Both the “Rocky Horror” stage musical and
film have become hugely popular, with
audiences dressing up and interacting with
the characters and fan clubs staging theme
“We’ve got no idea if the audience will get
up and get involved or if they’re going to sit
back and be passive or if it’s going to be a
very active piece,” Sperring said.
“The actors are prepped as much as they
can be and they’re aware that they’re just
having fun. Richard O’Brien very early on
said ‘Let fun be your guide and as long as
you’re having fun, the show will be alright’.”
The show features London stage actress
Julie Atherton as Janet and Australian actor
Mark Little as TV executive Farley Flavors.
“Shock Treatment” runs until June 6 at the
north London King’s Head Theatre.

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