Oakley Court Hotel, Sunday 28th August, 2022
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"From what had gone before this was certain to be..........A Picnic."
Updated: Sunday, October 23rd, 2022
2022 was the 16th Rocky Horror Picnic Show, or as it is commonly known, The TimeWarp Picnic, and the seventeenth year since we first ran the event.
Sadly, it was also that last Picnic we can run at Oakley Court for the foreseeable future. Prices for the stay had increased in 2022 by over 35% from the 2020 prices and we were quoted prices starting at £665 (not including breakfast) for 2023. Many people were already struggling to meet the cost of the 2022 event and with a potential doubling of prices from 2020 we reluctantly decided that this year's Picnic would be the last for a while.
As always driving up to the hotel gave us a sense of being 'home' once more. The hotel had undergone a refurbishment in the last year and the grounds looked fabulous. No more decking at the back of the hotel, instead an area laid out to gravel which is much more in keeping with the original aesthetic. The fountain had also had the high hedges/flowers cut back to a more reasonable height and the old place was looking gorgeous.
We had checked in on the Saturday making a long weekend/holiday of the event and Oakley Court very kindly flew our 'Transylvania' flag from then. Wonderful to see it adorning the flagpole once more. A few other people were also staying the whole weekend and it was nice to catch up informally before the event itself on the Sunday.
On the day of the Picnic, as people began to arrive in their costumes we got to chat with friends old and new and admire some of the amazing creations they were wearing. Not just your standard costumes at the Picnic. Have a look through the photographs from the day section below to see what I mean.
The Picnic itself was once more held on the lawns outside the main building, we were in the covered marquee near to the river and the food was as superb as always for the Picnic. Huge thanks to all the staff at Oakley for making this such a special day for us. The weather was fabulous too.
After the food, and some lovely deserts, we assembled for the traditional group photos on the lawn in front of the hotel of us all dressed up. Everyone then got the chance to chat, take photos, or just chill out until the movie screening later that evening.
We had our usual area to screen the movie and Steph and team also set up a merchandise area. Everyone was let into the room just after 8.30pm and a huge queue snaked around the tables as people bought some merchandise and collected their free gift that Stephanie had brought for the Picnic. Even Rob didn't know what we had planned before the evening for the gift. Steph had commissioned a special Rocky Horror Picnic Show A2 poster from legendary artist Graham Humphreys (famous for his artwork for such movie posters as The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and the Nightmare on Elm Street series). As people collected their posters at the end of the line you could see what it meant to them to get this unique bit of Rocky Horror memorabilia.
I'd also made a little something to show before the main screening, a look back over the previous Picnics using hundreds of my photos set to music. I had intended it to be around five minutes, but soon realised the end result would run a little longer, twenty seven minutes in all. I'd expected a few people to smile at the video as we watched, but I didn't think there would be so many 'aaahs', 'awws', laughs and cheers as various people appeared on the screen. Those that had attended previous Picnics, but were unable to be at this one were there 'In spirit anyway'. It was also rather fun watching my kids over the years from toddlers to the men that they have grown up to be now. [VIEW ON YOUTUBE]
After the video we did our usual raffle and a special extra one to win a tour jacket from a previous UK production of Rocky. Our winners all seemed happy with their prizes, what more can you ask?
Next up a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Always a highlight watching the house itself appear on screen while we are inside the house watching the house appear on screen (my head hurts).
A final thank you to the attendees and one more Time Warp and we closed the night and went in search of drinks.
A huge thank you to everyone that attended the Picnic, and all the previous events. We hope that we can return one day to Oakley Court and hold another Picnic, but as I mentioned at the start of this write up, that is currently out of the fan's budgets.
With 2023 being the 50th anniversary of the show and TimeWarp's 35th anniversary as the official fan club, I am sure we will do something to celebrate.
Images from the 2022 picnic
For more information about the events, please see the main Picnic Show page for our frequently asked questions.
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