Stephen Webb as Frank-N-Furter, Richard Meek as Brad, Haley Flaherty as Janet and the rest of the cast of the Rocky Horror Show - Photo: David Freeman

We all know that it’s the pelvic thrusts that really drive you insane, but what else is there to love about the Rocky Horror Show?

Touring for its 50th anniversary, the musical version of the cult show rolled into Norwich this evening for a busy run that is almost sold out. It’s a show that has its roots in the counter-culture of the 1970s, at a time when its cross-dressing and free flowing approach to sexuality was considerably more outré than today.

The show has a loyal following, evidenced by the many audience members ready with traditional responses and topical heckles to the Narrator’s (Jackie Clunes) storytelling.

As a first-time viewer slightly jaded from the torrent of casual sexuality that pervades modern culture, it all felt a little disappointingly twee. The homage to 1950s horror and science fiction B movies, with their bizarre plots and stilted dialogue is cute enough, and there is nothing to fault the cast’s performance, but its hard to see the attraction of repeat and frequent viewings. Some first night audience members were just ticking off the first of several visits for the week, with plenty of enthusiasm left for their return.

Stephen Webb as Frank N Furter clearly relishes the role, with a commanding strut as he dominates the stage, while Haley Flaherty and Richard Meek put in charming performances as the soon to be unbuttoned buttoned-up couple Janet and Brad.

Rocky Horror veteran Kristian Lavercombe limps menacingly around as Riff Raff, while newcomer Darcy Finden sparkles as Columbia.

In the round though the production feels surprisingly old fashioned; Nathan M Wright’s choreography is at times little more than walking back and forth. It all feels a bit like forced entertainment.

For those that have caught the Rocky bug, I’m sure it was a ball. A giant, pendulous ball at that. For anyone, it’s just a little insane.

Rocky Horror Show continues at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, 16 September 2023; and Ipswich Regent from October 2 to 7 2023.