The stage version of The Rocky Horror Show was touring earlier this year, and when it came to the Leeds Grand in June, my housemates and I handed over the last of our loans, got dressed up and had a brilliant night out. Discovering that the Hyde Park Picture House has an annual midnight screening of the film, we were equally excited to attend it. Corsets and fishnets were donned once again and we headed down to the cosy theatre for what we hoped was another night of fun.
I was educated in Rocky Horror rules, learning that there were requirements for the viewing experience. One such rule was that whenever “Brad Majors” or “Janet Weiss” was spoken, the audience were supposed to yell “arsehole” or “slut” respectively. Other things included the use of props, such as throwing rice during the wedding scene and shooting water out of pistols during the rain-storm scene.
The full list of required props can be found here, though only a few were used at this particular screening:
Unfortunately, after a while the prop-throwing was abused and things were flying across the theatre however and whenever. The theatre itself wasn’t particularly packed and no one seemed that bothered with the event.
After we had Time-Warped in our rows rather awkwardly, there wasn’t much else to do but watch the film, murmur along to some of the song lyrics and try to not get hit by flying props. There didn’t seem to be a collective sense of ‘community’ amongst the fans, no one was running around in full Frank-n-Furter get-up, there were no Rockies in gold hotpants, or even much in the way of a sing-along. There was only one other group that had dressed up, everyone else was in hoodies and tracksuit bottoms. As fun as the first half and hour had been, there is only so much rice a person can take getting hit with.
Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, or maybe it is an event in which you need to have had a couple of drinks beforehand; but overall, I wasn’t overly impressed by the whole experience. I love Rocky Horror, but I doubt I’ll be risking getting hit by toast again to see a screening of it. But maybe I’m just being a grumpy old lady who was in need of sleep…