The time warp turns 51: The Rocky Horror Show debuted today in London, 1973

Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 4:30PM

Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical debuted on June 19, 1973, after two previews. It was an instant success.

The musical tells the story of a sweet couple Brad and Janet, whose car breaks down late one rainy night. They head to the nearest house and ask to use the telephone, only to be drawn into the world of Dr Frank-N-Furter and his wild collection of followers.

The suspender-wearing doctor is from an alien planet and is creating a Frankenstein-like monster in his lab - a fully grown, physically perfect muscle man complete "with blond hair and a tan".

After its initial run, the show was moved to a larger theatre and continued to be a constant feature of London’s theatre scene until it closed in 1980. The show ran for a total of 2,960 performances.

In 1975 a film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was released with most of the original cast starring in it. The film had the longest-running release in film history.

Many stars of the stage and screen including Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf, Jerry Springer, Adam Lambert, Emma Bunton, Stephen Fry, Reg Livermore, Bert Newton, Gretel Killeen, Derryn Hinch, and Shane Jacobsen have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past 50 years.

Many of the show’s songs have also become well known including The Time Warp, Science Fiction / Double Feature, Sweet Transvestite and Hot Patootie.

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