Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review: Shock Treatment at the King's Head Theatre

Shock Treatment
King's Head Theatr
Reviewed on Tuesday 21st April 2015

The Rocky Horror Show premiered off-West End in 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre. Forty-two years later its sequel Shock Treatment is receiving its stage premiere at the King's Head, an off-West End pub theatre in Angel.

Shock Treatment was originally released as a film in 1981 and was a massive flop, but has since gained a cult following. Lyrics are by Rocky Horror God Richard O'Brien with music by Richard Hartley and book by Jim Sharman. 

The piece is remarkably ahead of its time, predicting the rise of reality TV and just how far people will go for their moment of glory as poor Brad and Janet find themselves in a fame-obsessed world. 

Tom Crowley and Benji Sperring's stage adaptation is just as eccentric and quirky as you would expect. Shock Treatment has no boundaries; it is bizarrely wild from start to finished. The cast are particularly strong, masterfully executing the comedic style. Everybody has strong comic timing and the most terrific facial expressions. 

The star of the show is Julie Atherton as Janet; it's great to see Atherton back in a comedy role. She takes to the stage with charm and wit whilst showcasing stunning vocals. Her casting is spot on.

The score is punchy, but unfortunately sound problems led to lyrics being lost. Although I wondered what crazy world I had wandered into (at times it really is like watching organised chaos), Shock Treatment is irresistibly fun. I'm not quite sure what the future could hold for the show - perhaps it could transfer to a slightly larger fringe venue as it continues to improve.

Shock Treatment is yet to find its feet, but with a little bit of work I can see the stage production attracting a hugely dedicated cult following.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Shock Treatment runs at the King’s Head Theatre until Saturday 6th June 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

No comments:

Post a Comment