Layla's Fotos from the Con
The Fans @ The Con
The Panels @ The Con
Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?
How do you start these things? Well again I was in the will I/won't I go? dilemma.
This time the Bank Manager was the one with ultimate sanction, luckily
an angel came to my assistance and I was able to go - Hooraaaa! (Don't you
just hate these nail biters!!!).
I traveled down to London on the Thursday to stay with a friend, we went to see
"The Blair Witch Project" (Frankly I don't see what all the fuss was about!).
Friday was a trawl round town to pick up a few bits. Went to see "Beauty & The Beast"
stage show - WOW - Those costumes really rock, It was a great show, catch it if you can
(It closes in December). Then it was time to move on to meet Em, Layla & Paula
at The Prince Charles Theatre to see Charming Undies do their performance to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". So we're standing in the foyer, waiting for
"The Sound Of Music" to come out, and who should appear but Larry V, Sherri T,
Ruth F-W, and Wally. It was like a fab family reunion.
Charming Undies had billed this show as "A Goth Theme" this appeared to mean that they
could get out of having to wear costumes. In my opinion a serious mistake considering
that this was the show on the night before the Convention they must have known there
would have been casts from all over the world present, reason enough surely (if it was
really required) to put on the best show you could muster. I'm sorry but I was very
disappointed by the show we were served up. Most cast in leather/rubber shorts
Columbia wearing a bit of gold tinsel, I feel that as a PAYING customer that just
wasn't good enough, I was embarrassed to be a British fan when this was being
shown as the "Premier" British group - the only one that performs EVERY weekend.
There were fans from Japan, Holland, Switzerland, as well as our American friends
I only hope that the Con being so good let them go away with a better view of
ROCKY in the UK. Larry's AP was the saving grace of the show (I almost wet myself at some of his jokes).
Still there was always tomorrow!
Saturday dawned as quite a nice day, and having miss read my watch and got up
an hour before I was going to, meant a little less panicky than it would otherwise have been.
I made my way to Woking with a tiny shoulder bag as I had decided for the first time in forever
I was going to come as a member of the audience (My one concession being that I wore a ROCKY T-shirt).
As I was entering the Con I was accosted by a frantic Saff with a story about Davy Saunderson having
hurt his back and under medical orders to not lift anything (Including Columbia's!!!)
So would I play Eddie for the show that evening, and that would mean I couldn't enter
the costume contest (It had not penetrated her panic that I was a) not wearing Eddies costume or
b) carrying a big enough bag to carry him in!) I said of course I would play Eddie provided I was there
I would have done it ("the Show Must Go On"). So a little later it was sorted for me to get the costume
from the injured Davy (Who could play Dr.Scott, just how sick is that!!!). On arrival I met the
Overseas gang and the day was begun. The line up guests and other fun
seemed endless just how were all these people and events going to make
it into one day - still we would have another hour to add to the day
(little did we realise that we'd need it!!!!). First up after the opening ceremony was
the cast of the current stage show, Laurie Brett (Usherette/Magenta),
Georgie Hayes (Riff Raff), Ross O'Hennassey (Rocky), and Dave Webb (Sax Man!).
Some interesting stories and annecdotes from the current tour. Then a mad rush to the
back of the hall to do the autographs, the queues for which at times
wound all the way round the hall. There was a screening of the promotional video
for "Time Warp" single release from last year and a screening later in the day of
the video for "Angel In Me" by Richard from his "Absolutely O'Brien" album.
Both of these rarely see gems were an added bonus. now it was time for the first of
the preliminary rounds of the costume contest, then lunch and Georgie Hays band
"Warped" to play a great set! The next panel to be got together was the
"Film Transylvanians" this included Christopher Biggins, Perry Beden and Steven Calcutt.
They were really interesting, and Biggins on the insistence of one of the French fans
showed us his legs!!! This was followed immediately by a mass exodus to
the walls round about the con for autographs. After the next preliminaries of the cozzie contest
was a screening of "Shock Treatment" unfortunately quite a few of the cast from the States
couldn't make it to the con so there were a few holes in the cast that needed to be plugged
and a few people doubled up roles and a few game fans stepped into the breach -
most with no rehearsal and they performed brilliantly, it gave a (Farley) Flavour
of the type of performance you get at "Shocky" for those not fortunate enough to
have seen it before. After the evening break there was a rare chance to see Raynor Burton,
The original "Rocky" from the Theatre Upstairs/Kings Road shows, he was a most interesting
and witty guest, who at one point turned things around and started to interview the audience!
(Don't say we never do things differently at Rocky Cons!!).
Sal Piro came up and answered a few questions and then auctioned off
some of his rare Rocky items. This made way for what was billed as "The Costume Panel",
consisting of Yasmin Pettigrew, and Sue Blane. There had been a problem earlier in the day
about Pam Obermeyer getting down to Woking so she also joined this panel.
This was a panel that seemed to have been most eagerly awaited by many fans. Not surprisingly Sue Blane got most of the questions, and she fielded them very well. She seemed genuinely impressed by the range and quality of the costumes that were present. She was most magnanimous in her praise of the fans that had spent so much time, effort, and money on copies of her designs. Yasmin Pettigrew, the wardrobe mistress on the stage show in it's early days and on the film, was also very impressed by the quality of the costumes present, she and Perry Beden were quite taken by OOR EM dressed as Rufus Collins Trannie from the movie. Pam Obermeyer told us that she had got into alternative medicines and practices, such as Reflexology since the making of the movie, she was a most interesting person.
This panel also generated a queue round the building!
The next item on the agenda was the final of the costume contest and "Dr. Scotts Extra Forks" were lucky enough to have two finalists EM as Rufus the Trannie and Layla as Trixie. Both were eventual winners in each category.
Next up was Patricia Quinn. What can we say that hasn't already been said? She looked fantastic in a white trouser suit; she was as funny as she always is at conventions, a delight to see again.
The final panel was the man himself Richard O'Brien. He came out and sang a few songs (after a technical hiccup had been resolved), including a snatch of "Sweet T", "Angel In Me", "The Time Warp" to name but a few. During his Q&A he played the song "Man Of Steel" (a little rude this one but quite fun!). When Richard left to do autographs just about the entire hall joined the queue! In fact Sherri Timmerman was in the queue, she finally got her autograph just as "Hot Patootie was starting in the main hall!!!
The final few bits of business for the day was drawing the raffle, the trivia quiz (which consisted of Larry V being asked one question and thus getting the winners & losers scrolls!!! - Time had seriously run out, I told you we'd need the extra hour!).
Time for the Pre-shows, and the film. The shadow cast was basically the last performance by "Lip Service" the Belfast group, with a few interlopers, including Steph as Trixie, David as Space Riff, Em as Frank, Saff as Columbia and Me as Eddie.
Wearily after the final Time Warps had faded into the ether, we picked up our goodies and headed off to the hotel, but not before a stop off at Subway for a 12 incher!!! Thus Larry, Sherri, Mark, Jamie, Em, Layla, Paula, and Marty rounded off our very busy, but most enjoyable days with a bottomless cup of juice!!!
The next day! Layla and Paula had to run away at stupid o'clock in the morning in order to catch their respective busses back to civilisation! This left Em and I to lazily discuss the events of the weekend, our reverie being broken by the main reception phoning to tell us it was time to check out. We were all packed, so a few minutes later we were at the front desk, here we noticed the Timmerman group were still to leave, so we decided to wait for them. 20 minutes later they arrived announcing they were all going to Oakley Court, did we want to come? (Now there's a silly question) the problem lay in how were we going to get 6 people, accompanying luggage, and Sherri's wheelchair in one cab? Well it took some packing but we managed it - just! Off to Oakley. It's always wonderful to arrive at this most impressive of buildings, aside from the fact the movie was made here it is a lovely serene place. Of course a gang of mad Rocky Horror fans jumping all over it is less likely to make it so serene, but hey sue me! We decided to take a walk over to Bray studios (all of 5 minutes walk from Oakley) to try to see if we could find the spot where Brad & Janet break down. Luckily Jamie had her copy of the Movie Photo Novel, this helped to show us that none of the immediately surrounding roads look anything like the ones in the film. By the time we got back to the hotel it was time to call a cab to take us to Windsor Station and thence to Waterloo where Em had to catch her train home. I spent a few hours showing Jamie and Mark round some of Central London. When we arrived back at Waterloo for Mark And Jamie to catch Le Shuttle back to Paris, there were loads of jubilant French people about at France had just beaten New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals. Who should appear in the midst of this entire melee but the six fans from Paris we had met at the con. It is amazing where Rocky fans will turn up! So after a few kisses and hurriedly swapped email addresses I bid farewell to my new French and American friends. I wended my weary way up to Belsize Park and my final night in London, before I too had to head homeward on the Monday afternoon!
To all involved in organising
- Another fine Convention -
especially STEPH, DAVID, DAVY & BARBARA.
HOT PATOOTIE you guys!