The Time Warp is an iconic moment in The Rocky Horror Show – and actress Jackie Clune, who is among the cast, knows it off by heart.
She joined the cast for the show’s 50th anniversary tour, taking on the role of the Narrator.
Since it first opened in London in June 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre The Rocky Horror Show has become the longest continuous run of a contemporary musical anywhere in the world.
Created by Richard O’Brien’s the show tells the story of two squeaky clean students – Brad and his fiancée Janet, and events after their car breaks down outside an old mansion on their way to meet their college professor.
The show has been seen by over 30 million people worldwide in more than 30 countries, and translated into 20 languages.
What can the audience expect from Rocky Horror Show?
Jackie, who played Mrs Lamb in BBC series Motherland, said audiences can expect a “classic good night out” with the show, saying: “It allows people to just let their hair down. You know, everyone’s struggling at the moment, and times are hard, the weather’s rainy and the cost of living has gone up.
“But Rocky Horror allows you to just dive into the world of kind of 1950s sci fi pastiche, you know, wearing suspenders and a basque if you like. So it’s just incredibly good fun. I think what I love about doing it is that it’s very joyful and people are very happy and, you know, have a really great night out.”
So far the show, which is currently touring around the country and will take to the stage at HMT next week, has received a great response from audiences.
Jackie said: “Wherever we go, is packed. It’s full of people just having the best night. Sometimes people come every night. In some venues we’ve been to we’ve had super fans that come to every show. And they’re incredibly dedicated, it’s very sweet.”
What is it like being part of the cast of such an iconic show?
Jackie, who started out in stand-up comedy and cabaret, said one of the draws of joining the cast was a return to those roots. The actress is also known for her roles in musicals such as 9 to 5: The Musical and Billy Elliot.
She said: “I’ve done a lot of musicals, and I’ve done a lot of TV, comedy and drama and stage drama. So for me, this is a return to the base kind of cabaret roots.
“I’m the only one as the narrator that’s allowed to chat to the audience. Everyone else has to stay in role, but I can have all the banter and I really enjoy that it’s a really big part of why I do it.”
The cast includes plenty of West End stars including Stephen Webb, Richard Meek and Haley Flaherty.
Jackie added: “This cast is incredible – really fun, really kind, very welcoming, very hard working. Sometimes we’re doing four shows almost back-to-back, two on Friday evening two on Saturday evening.”
Why has Rocky Horror Show been so popular over the years?
Part of why the show has remained so popular over the past 50 years is Jackie says because it allows people to “let their hair down”
She said: “We can be quite staid, the British and I think it is a question of being given permission to be part of a weird community for a night. Plus, you know, it’s very silly.
“It’s very camp. And the songs are fantastic. I don’t sing in this show, which is a big pain for me because I love to sing. I have done Mamma Mia, and Billy Elliot and 9 to 5 and several other musicals.
She went on to say: “I missed the singing but I’m backstage belting out the songs because they’re so great. So I think that’s a big part of the success as well.”
When will Rocky Horror Show be in Aberdeen?
The Rocky Horror Show will run at His Majesty’s Theatre from September 19 to 23. Jackie is looking forward to heading north, having previously been in the Granite City when appearing in 9 to 5.
She said: “Just going up to Scotland is always really great fun because the audience is very real and great fun.
And her favourite part? The pub! She said: “I do like the pubs in Scotland because I like a wee dram, and it’s always nice to get different selections of whiskies. I very much enjoy that and just walking around, it’s very beautiful.”
Jackie added: “I do like to walk in the countryside. So I’m looking forward to that. I hope we get some weather. But when you’re in Scotland and the weather’s good, there’s nothing like it.”
But the burning question is does she know all the words to the Time Warp? Of course, and she begins to tell me: “It’s just a jump to the left. And then step to the right…”
Enough said. You know the rest. For more information go to rockyhorror.co.uk and aberdeenperformingarts.com/whats-on/the-rocky-horror-show-2023