Rocky Horror fans are invited to swap the fishnets for some surgical scrubs for the first stage adaptation of this cult underground classic and sequel to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“The perfect cult movie… It’s arguable that the soundtrack album is better than Rocky Horror” Mark Kermode, BBC
Nearly a quarter of a century after its film release, creator Richard O’Brien and composer Richard Hartley collaborate with Tarquin Productions to bring the “equal-sequel” to the incredible cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the stage. Predicting the rise of reality TV, Shock Treatment sees the return of Brad and Janet as they get sucked into a world of crazed contestants, fame-hungry presenters and money-grabbing executives both in front and behind the cameras. With a live band performing Richard Hartley’s newly revised score in the intimate confines of the King’s Head Theatre, this long awaited production goes back to Rocky Horror’s roots by letting the audience get up close and personal.
Set several years after The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad and Janet’s marriage is failing and they return to their hometown of Denton to find it’s not the idyllic suburb they remember. Invited onto the smash-hit TV show Unhappy Homes by their childhood friends – and Denton’s hottest TV couple – Betty and Ralph Hapschatt they’re plunged into the world of charismatic media moguls and game show participants, where people are willing to do anything in front of a camera for a taste of fame. Audiences are invited to snap on their rubber surgical gloves as Brad and Janet fall afoul of dirty doctors and naughty nurses and are torn apart by the talons of TV executive Farley Flavors, whose new television show Faith Factory will guarantee that at least one person is going to receive the shock of their life.
Audiences are also invited to special midnight performances on Friday and Saturday nights between the 17th April and 9th May.
Director Benji Sperring said, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show had changed my life when I saw it whilst growing up in a repressed, single-parent family in the Black Country where the word “gay” was one of the worst things to be called, both at home and at school. On first watching Shock Treatment, I saw huge potential for the show on stage. Throughout my career I’ve been in contact with Richard O’Brien to ask about adapting it for the stage. Ten years ago, I got a “no”. Eight years ago, I got a “not now”. Five years ago, I got a “maybe soon”. Two years ago, I got a “so tell me your ideas…”, and in 2014 I got the golden “let’s do it” that I’ve been waiting for – so you can imagine the ideas have been building up for a while; call it a labour of love!”
Richard O’Brien said “Why now? Why Tarquin Productions? Mysteries abound, but we looked for someone who believed in the work. I have always been of the opinion that it would work better as a stage play; the atmosphere, the studio, the lights, bring the show to the audience in a way the film cannot. Hearing the ideas of this young company, they saw the potential and possibilities of something which has waited patiently on the shelf for many years, and one can only hope that the excellent energy and enthusiasm they are bringing to the project will be seductively palpable through the show. It was our ideas that created the work originally, but it is their ideas that have shaped it to what it will become.”
The Rocky Horror Show, with book, music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien premiered at the Royal Court in 1973 and was adapted for film in 1975. Three of the original cast appeared in the film, including Tim Curry in his feature film debut, as well as Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff. The film became a global phenomenon and is still shown in cinemas four decades later. Shock Treatment, released in 1981 and labeled “the perfect cult movie” by the BBC’s Mark Kermode, reunited O’Brien with Rocky Horror’s director Jim Sharman as book writer, and the film’s musical arranger Richard Hartley as composer. The film included original cast members Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn and Little Nell in new roles, and cameos from Ruby Wax, Charles Gray, Barry Humphries and Rik Mayall.
Tarquin Productions was established in 2011 by artistic director Benji Sperring, and are known for producing the world premiere of Ivor Novello’s final musical Valley of Song (Finborough 2014). The company aim to rejuvenate forgotten plays for the contemporary stage, with particular focus on shows that fit their motto “Glitter and Twisted”: work with a strong aesthetic, and a darker side of the human psyche. Their past productions include Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna (Old Red Lion 2013), and double bill The Blind and The Intruder (Old Red Lion and Tabard Theatre 2013). www.tarquinproductions.co.uk
@Tarquin_UK | www.kingsheadtheatre.com | #ShockTreatmentMusical
Running Time: 1hr 30mins (no interval) | Suitable for ages 12+
Lyrics by Richard O’Brien Music by Richard Hartley Book by Jim Sharman
Adapted for stage by Tom Crowley and Benji Sperring
Directed by Benji Sperring Set Design by Tim Shortall
Musical Direction and Arrangement by Alex Beetschen
Choreography by Lucie Pankhurst Costume Design by Xylona Appleton
Make-up and Hair by Abigail Gargas Casting by Liz Bichard
Lighting Design by Nic Farman Production management by Tom Kitney
Stage Management by Jack Dormer Assistant Direction by Helen Donnelly
Cast TBA – Band TBA
The Kings Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN
17th April to 9th May Tues – Sat 9pm, midnight Fri & Sat night
19th May – 6th June Tues – Sat 9.45pm
£25 – £10 | www.kingsheadtheatre.com | 0207 478 0160
Wednesday 11th March 2015