Fishnets and corsets at the ready, cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show is coming to Cornwall as part of its 50th anniversary tour.

The legendary smash hit musical, created by Richard O’Brien – known to many as the man leading teams around the Crystal Maze on TV in the 1990s – first opened in London in June 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre.

Since then it has become the longest continuous run of a contemporary musical anywhere in the world, seen by more than by more than 30 million people, in more than 30 countries, and translated into 20 languages.

As part of its 50th anniversary it is touring the UK, and will be at Truro’s Hall for Cornwall from Tuesday, June 20 to Saturday, June 24.

Leading the cast are West End star Stephen Webb (Jersey Boys/Legally Blonde) continuing in the iconic role of Frank, Philip Franks (The Darling Buds of May) playing The Narrator, Richard Meek (Hairspray/Spamlot) making a return as Brad and Haley Flaherty (Mamma Mia/Chicago) as Janet.

Falmouth Packet: Brad and Janet, the innocent couple who go on a night of adventureBrad and Janet, the innocent couple who go on a night of adventure (Image: David Freeman)

Kristian Lavercombe (Jersey Boys/Jesus Christ Superstar) reprises his role as Riff Raff, following more than 2,000 performances around the world, with Darcy Finden, who made her professional debut last year as one of the Phantoms now stepping up to play the role of as Columbia.

Ben Westhead (Oliver/The Sound of Music) plays Rocky, Suzie McAdams (School of Rock/Kinky Boots) takes on the role of Magenta and Joe Allen (Little Shop of Horrors/Charlie & The Chocolate Factory) plays Eddie and Dr Scott.

For the uninitiated, The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids – Brad and his fiancée Janet. When, by a twist of fate, their car breaks down outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor, they meet the charismatic Dr Frank’n’Furter.

Falmouth Packet: Dr Scott and others characters in a scene from Rocky HorrorDr Scott and others characters in a scene from Rocky Horror (Image: David Freeman)

It is an adventure they’ll never forget, with the show famously combining science-fiction, horror, comedy and music – with a few naughty bits – while encouraging audience participation.

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Find out more about the show in a Q&A with writer and creator Richard O’Brien:

What was your original inspiration behind the Rocky Horror Show?

Someone asked me to entertain the Christmas staff party at the EMI Film Studios and so I wrote a song (Science Fiction Double Feature) and with the help of some jokes, performed to much laughter and applause.

In the New Year I wondered whether it might serve as a prologue to the germ of an idea that I had for a musical. I shared that thought with Jim Sharman who had directed Jesus Christ Superstar. Jim liked the concept and away we went.

Why do you think it is still successful today, half a century later?

It is simply a musical comedy and as long as it rocks, and the audience are laughing, what more could you wish for?

It's very inclusive, it's very easy to watch. It's not rocket science as far as narrative is concerned - Brad and Janet are a couple that we kind of recognise as Adam and Eve or Romeo and Juliet, like a stereotypical couple – we can all relate to them.

What was happening in your life at the time you wrote The Rocky Horror Show?

I was a recent father of my first child and out of work when I wrote the show; 1972-73 was a moment of change. Glamrock and overt sexuality was around, gay people were coming out and there was a ‘buzz’ in the air.

There are certain parts of the world where we are a little bit more free to be ourselves. London is certainly one of them.

Back in the Seventies you had gay bars, but now you don’t need to because if you walk into most bars in London there will be a gay man behind the bar. That is rather nice.

Falmouth Packet: Dr Frank'N'Furter and the cast of Rocky HorrorDr Frank'N'Furter and the cast of Rocky Horror (Image: David Freeman)

Do you have a favourite character?

I would have loved to have played Rocky, that would have been cool, wouldn't it? But one thing is essential, you have to be rather handsome, and you know, muscular, and that ain't going to work. I could have played Janet. They're all so stupidly wonderful these characters, they're iconographic.

How do you think the live shows compare to the film?

The live show has an energy that the movie doesn't have – it wasn't intentional, but the film was very slow. Once some fans came up to me and said, "Did you leave the gaps between the lines so that we the audience could say our lines?". I said, "Well, ok yes". But no we didn't.

The movie is a very surreal, almost dreamlike journey, the live show is far more rock and roll.

What’s your favourite part of the show?

The noise at the end of Rocky is wonderful – it is empowering and exhilarating at the same time it is quite joyous. Rocky never fails to deliver. Each performance lifts the heart and the nightly laughter and roars of approval leave the whole cast with a sense of wellbeing and accomplishment that you rarely get from any other shows.

The Rocky Horror Show remains a huge hit around the world. Do you think the show would be as successful if written today?

Timing is very important as is luck. Zeitgeist sums it up. There are lots of variables in this equation, for instance, would it have been as successful if someone other than Tim Curry had played the lead?

How different do you think your life might have been without Rocky?

I have no idea, but I would have had a good life because I am made that way.

I guess some people have a game plan. I would imagine they’re rather humourless. Most of us get an opportunity and we wing it.

Luck plays an awfully big part in our lives. You should never underestimate that. I am the luckiest person on the planet. I shall be happy as long as I can keep singing.