Theatre Royal Hanley's Narrator!!!

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The Grosvenor February 1999 Show

By Layla

“Never do karaoke before Rocky or indeed anywhere” has always featured high up on my list of life morals (ever since the great “I Will Survive” incident of `97) so it was with some trepidation that I arrived at the Grosvenor Cinema where the management had booked karaoke as added entertainment before Rocky. Luckily it was audience and not cast that were expected to participate, plus not everyone has my morals so the sell-out audience threw themselves into the challenge of gaining the audience's approval to win a year's free pass to the cinema, a prize eventually won by a fabulous Frank with a real BOSS tattoo! (well I was impressed!)

Perhaps someone out there shared my karaoke misgivings because right after the karaoke the cinema roof fell in. (yeah yeah yeah, they brought the house down, I know) But the audience in the affected part were moved and the show went on.

The karaoke over and everyone impatiently blowing their wee tooty things they find inside their prop bags, it was time for the show to get underway. Abba's Gimme Gimme Gimme was a great success followed by YMCA where Em's stripping policeman routine went down a treat but it was Chuck that stole the show as the Indian, wearing nothing but a shammy leather and a blonde wig!

Our MC Martin took the stage and did the usual welcome, followed by virgin sacrifices (including one of Em's old bosses who did not look overjoyed) and the costume contest (the stage was flooded as probably over half the audience were dressed up). Then Martin announced that it had just been somebody's 18th birthday and it was halfway through the audience's rendition of “Happy Birthday” before I realised he was referring to me! I was presented with a fabulous teddy bear decked out in full space outfit (made by Kate! Thanks sweetie) and other assorted cool stuff. (Thank you so much everyone!) I nearly cried !

The show got underway and while we often used to perform only selected parts, this time we just kept going. I was glad when it got to the dinner scene: I'd promised my friend Paula from Edinburgh that she could do Magenta for that scene after she begged me to let her, something I couldn't understand as she has always been too shy to play Magenta before. So I sat back for a wee rest but there was no sign of Paula. The others gestured for me to join them so I did. Then Paula and Scary Neil - our Riff - came in with a birthday cake complete with candles for me! Awww!!! (almost cried again) As Frank carved the meat, Em realised that she had no utensils for cutting cake and scooped chunks out with her hands, passed them to all of us, threw some to the audience and so created our new tradition of having real food during the dinner scene. I must also add that after this scene, the cinema was the most trashed I have ever seen: as well as the usual prop bag litter there was cake squashed into the carpet at every turn which must have delighted the cleaning staff!

Other notable moments of the show included our last minute Brad, Adam, who had not only never been Brad but had never actually seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show! The brave boy had no clue what was coming next as most of his clothes were removed, and later as he was pushed onto the stage for his bedroom scene but he handled it like a pro and seemed to be resigned that anything could happen next. He had no clue what it would be but just hoped someone pushed him in the right direction!

The cast for the show were:

Frank - M
Brad - Adam*
Janet - Carole
Riff Raff - Scary Neil
Magenta/Trixie - Layla
Columbia - Kate
Eddie/MC - Martin
Rocky - Chuck
Dr Scott - Jennie
Narrator - Ian
Trannies: Jenny, Emma

[* - This Guy was a real trooper, he was a total Virgin, hadn't even seen the film, and turned in a really credible performance as BRAD - A big thanx]

The cinema trashed, the show completed, everyone headed towards home… or in my case to the nearest cast member's flat (another side effect of my living in the middle of nowhere). The Grosvernor's only regrets were that they only booked the show for one night instead of two, a situation that was to be remedied on the 12th and 13th of November that year!

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