Last Updated on 25th February 2016
Nearly a quarter of a century after its film release, creator Richard O’Brien and composer Richard Hartley collaborate with Tarquin Productions to bring the “equal-sequel” to the incredible cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show to the stage. Predicting the rise of reality TV, Shock Treatment sees the return of Brad and Janet as they get sucked into a world of crazed contestants, fame-hungry presenters and money-grabbing executives both in front and behind the cameras. With a live band performing Richard Hartley’s newly revised score in the intimate confines of the King’s Head Theatre, this long awaited production goes back to Rocky Horror’s roots by letting the audience get up close and personal.
Set several years after The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Brad and Janet’s marriage is failing and they return to their hometown of Denton to find it’s not the idyllic suburb they remember. Invited onto the smash-hit TV show Unhappy Homes by their childhood friends – and Denton’s hottest TV couple – Betty and Ralph Hapschatt they’re plunged into the world of charismatic media moguls and game show participants, where people are willing to do anything in front of a camera for a taste of fame. Audiences are invited to snap on their rubber surgical gloves as Brad and Janet fall afoul of dirty doctors and naughty nurses and are torn apart by the talons of TV executive Farley Flavors, whose new television show Faith Factory will guarantee that at least one person is going to receive the shock of their life.
There will also be special midnight performances on Friday and Saturday nights between the 17th April and 9th May.
Director Benji Sperring said, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show had changed my life when I saw it whilst growing up in a repressed, single-parent family in the Black Country where the word “gay” was one of the worst things to be called, both at home and at school. On first watching Shock Treatment, I saw huge potential for the show on stage. Throughout my career I’ve been in contact with Richard O’Brien to ask about adapting it for the stage. Ten years ago, I got a “no”. Eight years ago, I got a “not now”. Five years ago, I got a “maybe soon”. Two years ago, I got a “so tell me your ideas…”, and in 2014 I got the golden “let’s do it” that I’ve been waiting for – so you can imagine the ideas have been building up for a while; call it a labour of love!”
Richard O’Brien said “Why now? Why Tarquin Productions? Mysteries abound, but we looked for someone who believed in the work. I have always been of the opinion that it would work better as a stage play; the atmosphere, the studio, the lights, bring the show to the audience in a way the film cannot. Hearing the ideas of this young company, they saw the potential and possibilities of something which has waited patiently on the shelf for many years, and one can only hope that the excellent energy and enthusiasm they are bringing to the project will be seductively palpable through the show. It was our ideas that created the work originally, but it is their ideas that have shaped it to what it will become.”
Shock Treatment will run at the Kings Head Theatre from 17th April – 9th May 2015.