Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Rocky Horror Show returns for Halloween fun

October 23, 2015 by Alyssa Koehler, contributing writer

After the success of last year’s staging of The Rocky Horror Show, local group Rebel Knock Out Productions decided to make it an annual event. The cult classic musical tribute to sci-fi and horror B-movies has been staged since 1973; Atomic Vaudeville’s Britt Small is directing this production.

“We’re starting with the foundation of what we had last year,” says actress Candace Woodland, who plays Columbia in the show, “and our director is making it funnier, making it tighter, and because we’ve already done it, we’re able to really focus almost on each individual line of the show and perfect it. Sarah [Anne Murphy, choreography] is definitely building on the choreography; she’s got a lot of us doing more.”

The audience participation factor is one of the most defining features of the Rocky Horror cult following, with fans wearing costumes, bringing props to the performances, and shouting lines in response to the actors.

Looks like Victoria has a new Halloween tradition with The Rocky Horror Show (photo provided).

Looks like Victoria has a new Halloween tradition with The Rocky Horror Show (photo provided).

“There are all these call-outs that the audience seems to just know; at different points in the show you yell different things at the actors,” Woodland says. “Sometimes we have a show where it seems like everybody is yelling, and other shows it seems like most people are quiet. It’s cool because as actors on stage we get to meet that energy. If we have a really rowdy audience we can also be really rowdy. It’s the most inclusive theatre I’ve ever done. It feels like the audience is another character in the show. We have to really pay attention to how they’re feeling, because they’re so involved.”

While not all of the props traditionally brought to film screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (the movie adaptation of the play; audience members are known to bring movie-related items to screenings) are appropriate for a stage performance, Rebel Knock Out Productions has a solution.

“So we can include that atmosphere that exists in the movie showings, we sell prop kits that include instructions on how to use the props, and a variety of props that are show-friendly. As an example, you blow up a balloon during the first song and pop it when the narrator says the line ‘and worlds collide,’ so it’s this huge sound of the whole audience popping a bunch of balloons.”

If you’re not already a fan, don’t let that dissuade you: Woodland confesses she had never heard of Rocky Horror before her audition, but she, too, has fallen in love with it.

“I actually like telling my story, because I’ve had a lot of people come up to me after last year and say, ‘I’ve never seen the movie,’ or, ‘I didn’t like the movie,’ ‘but I loved the show,’ which is really cool because I don’t want it to be an event you can only go to if you’re already a fan of Rocky Horror. It’s actually really neat to be introduced to such a cult classic when it’s a live show, because it’s almost identical to the movie, but you’re there, and when you’re saying the call-outs, you’re yelling at the actors, the actors are yelling back at you, and it’s really interactive, which is just this whole new level of awesome.”

The Rocky Horror Show
Thursday, October 22 to Saturday, October 31
$30, The Metro, 1141 Quadra Street

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