When did you first see Rocky Horror?

This week my husband and I discovered that we both had our induction into the glam-rock world that is The Rocky Horror Show on the very same evening, well before we ever set eyes on each other - one fateful New Year's Eve, circa 1998, courtesy of the 1975 film version on BBC2.

I remember watching wide-eyed, my fresh teen innocence shedding faster than Brad and Janet's outer garments.

Because that's the thing about Rocky. Much like the two main characters, once you've experienced it you've crossed the threshold into a place from which you can never return. You're now part of the collective.

And so it felt on Tuesday, at the opening night of the stage show's run at Truro's Hall for Cornwall, as part of its 50th anniversary world tour.

Every person in the theatre knew what was coming next at any given moment. We knew the words to every song. And the actors on stage counted on it.

Falmouth Packet: Paul, Julie and Sara dressed for the occasionPaul, Julie and Sara dressed for the occasion (Image: Paul, Julie and Sara dressed for the occasion)

Because that's what the theatre production has evolved into. To quote a famous Friends scene - they know that we know they know that we know every line, and as such the audience callouts are not only accepted but expected.

Most are too risque to be repeated in a family newspaper, but the Narrator (the masterful Philip Franks, who in his younger days was Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton in the original Darling Buds of May opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones) had a quick response for every heckle, some of which came straight from the Rocky playbook and others a little off-field that required some ad-libbing.

Franks dealt with it all with ease, even throwing in a few local nods (declaring Mystic Meg from Mousehole must be in the audience at one point), and quite rightly received one of the biggest cheers of the night come curtain call.

Stephen Webb made a rather likeable Frank N Furter, playing the role with more humour than Tim Curry's film version and drawing a surprising amount of sympathy at the end that I haven't felt watching on screen, particularly in his final song I’m Going Home. I think we all wanted him to get there.

His singing voice is also magnificent, with Haley Flaherty as Janet another standout, vocally, although the whole cast belted out those famous numbers (surely one of the most well-known soundtracks in the world, so expectations were high) in a way that delighted the audience - not least at the end, when the whole audience were on their feet doing the Time Warp. 

Both Flaherty and Richard Meek as fiance Brad played their roles to perfection, feeling like cosy old friends who we know and love.

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

It must be a daunting task to try and take on the role the show's creator made his own, but in Kristian Lavercombe it must be said that Richard O'Brien's Riff Raff is in safe hands. Very safe in fact - with more than 2,000 performances in Rocky, Lavercombe has appeared more than anyone else in its history and it showed.

Together with Suzie McAdam as Magenta (and also the usherette that opens and closes the show - not that you'd ever know they were the same person unless you bought the programme!) they're a strong pairing that oversee the show, often from the background but ever-present, before really coming into their own at the end. 

A final nod to Darcy Finden as Columbia and her breathtaking show of energy, particularly in the closing scenes! 

READ NEXT: Interview with Rocky Horror Show creator as it comes to Cornwall in 50th year

Rocky is one of those productions that seems to spark a desire to dress up in outrageous costumes, irrespective of background or everyday life. I won't name names, but in the bar beforehand I met a man with a senior role in Cornwall; he was wearing green scrubs, pink latex gloves and a wig.

There was probably a 50-50 split between those who came in costume and those in civvies, but neither made the other feel out of place - it's that kind of show.

Amidst all the over-the-top lingerie, tongue-in-cheek debauchery and bonkers ending though is a pretty important message that remains as current today as in the early 1970s, which creator Richard O’Brien described as “a moment of change.”

Put simply: don't dream it, be it.

The Rocky Horror Show runs until Saturday, June 24 with tickets ranging from £15 to £49. Visit https://hallforcornwall.co.uk/playhouse-tickets-shows/rocky-horror-show/about-the-show