Page updated Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
|The Virgins Guide to Rocky Horror
© David Freeman/TimeWarp 1994 onwards
|Related page: RHPS Movie Introductions
It's just a jump to:Dancing Props Audience Parti-ci-pation Rocky Etiquette I want more
o there you are, sat in a cinema or theatre, waiting to see Rocky Horror for the first time, when a strangely dressed person comes up to you and utters the immortal phrase "are you a virgin?" don't panic, it's not a proposition (although you never know your luck!) anybody that has not seen Rocky before, be they twelve or seventy is commonly known as a 'virgin'. Let's face it at some time in our lives we have all been a virgin as far as Rocky is concerned anyway! but don't worry, help is at hand from TimeWarp fan club. In order to introduce you to the wonderful experience of Rocky Horror there now follows the original TimeWarp Virgin Survival Guide, the indispensable guide to Rocky Horror etiquette, talk-back and dress codes.
Now read on.................
The Virgin Survival Guide - Dress
Optional, whilst some people look good in a dress, others don't. You may find that after a show or two you may like to wear something a little more outrageous, stockings, basque, high heels (female virgins may also wear these items). You may even become a diehard fan and start to make perfect copies of the costumes worn during the film/show. For now, just wear something casual but remember to follow the following four step guide to clothes that should never be worn to 'Rocky'.
'There will always be someone who looks more out of place.'
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The Virgin Survival Guide - Dancing
Although not compulsory, you may find that during the Time Warp you are the only person in the audience not on your feet. Pop quiz, can you spot the virgin's in this photograph? Score one point if you said the two ladies in the foreground. Score a further two points if you spotted the people sat down in the second row. However if you said the guy in the striped shirt you score twenty points, see Dress section of previous page.
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The Virgin Survival Guide - Props
The following items may be of use to you during the show. Please note that it is considered very bad etiquette to throw anything onto the stage, not to mention dangerous for the actors, it could mean that the show is cancelled and a thousand fans turn on you in an instance so don't do it! Note that some props are not to be used at the Stage Shows for this very reason.
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The Virgin Survival Guide - Audience Parti-ci-pation
Whether you are watching the film or stage show version of Rocky Horror you will notice that the audience are talking to the screen or actors. you may even find yourself in a cinema complete with a fan performing cast. The young man on the right was the first member of the audience at the Screen on Baker Street to be persuaded to play the part of Rocky Horror, way back in 1988 when there were regular Saturday night showings of the movie.
Audience Participation started back in the 1970's in the USA and made it over to the UK a few years later. Originally only for the movie the "AP" has now become a part of the stage show as well. Fans have been dressing up, shouting back lines and singing along to the show and movie for thirty years now. Performing casts of fans act out the movie in front of the screen for the love of Rocky, not to make money out of fellow fans. So when you've spent your six quid or so watching a shadow cast of fans, if you've enjoyed it, give them the clap they deserve!
Audience Participation should always be complementary to the show, never just shouting out lines for the hell of it. The following two responses will get you started in the wonderful world of talk-back.
There are hundreds of talk-back lines that have been used over the years, and more are being created by the audience at every show. There is no such thing as a definitive Audience Participation script as often call back lines are topical - Rocky being called a Pokemon worked in May 2000, but isn't so funny now. To paraphrase the great philosopher - Roger Rabbit "it only works if it's funny".
It should be noted that many lines that are used at the film screenings just do not translate to the stage productions. Shouting "where's your neck?" for instance to every narrator just doesn't work as unlike Charles Gray in the film, most do seem to have one. There are also several points in the stage show where shout-backs shouldn't happen. During the songs as a rule and in the final death scenes in particular.
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The Virgin Survival Guide - Rocky Horror Etiquette
"Etiquette?" I hear you cry - at a show/film with the principle of "Don't Dream It, Be It?" yep, there still is a few things to bear in mind when you are partaking of the Rocky experience.
The idea of Rocky Horror Participation is to have fun, not disrupt the show/film, the following guidelines will help you and the other members of the audience to enjoy the show to the maximum pleasure level. On the 2000 tour I had seen the theatre staff (Hackney, I'm talking about you) reduced to bringing on a line of security staff to keep people away from the stage. Due to one or two over zealous people, they seemed to feel the need to be there. Of course any of the usual fans in the front rows would never climb onto the stage during a show, but they (security) obviously had never read the guide.
Rice, water and naked flames are not to be used at the stage show productions, as it says in the Props section of this guide.
At movie screenings, the throwing of rice, water, etc. is meant to be fun and should not cause damage to the cinema or other people's costumes. Moderation can be a key element, a light shower rather than a monsoon! NEVER throw rice or water at the screen, performers, spotlights or screen. It may be dangerous and may result in the film being halted, you might also get pulled out by security (a very painful way to be removed!)
If you are dressing up for the show, don't slag other people's costumes off. Everyone has the right to wear whatever they wish. (See exceptions: Dress). Some people make carbon copies of the ones on-stage/in the film, others take a more abstract approach. My costume tends to be a sequined green jacket, no-one in the show wears one, but everyone knows it's me. (There is a very abstract connection to the show, ask me some time at a theatre and I'll explain it to you!)
Talk-Back lines should be used to add to the Rocky experience, don't try to shout down other people, they might know some better lines, the best lines are the unexpected, especially if the cast starts to giggle!! See the section above for more information on Participation.
At the stage show, whilst taking pictures of yourself and others in costume (maybe even to send to our very own fans at the show section) is allowed in most lobby areas, you should never take images of the show itself. It's a good way to get your camera taken away or yourself thrown out of the show.
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The Virgin Survival Guide - I Want More! - Hooked on Rocky Horror
Ah, it gets us all. What else can you enjoy in the wonderful world of Rocky Horror? Well first off, there's us, yep TimeWarp has been the Official UK Rocky Horror Fan Club since 1988. Started by the fans for the fans, we are here to help promote the show and movie screenings to as many people as we can. You don't have to be a member of TimeWarp to enjoy Rocky Horror, but if you would like to know more about the fan club and what we do click here. Feel free to use the timewarp.org.uk site as a gateway to the wonderful world of Rocky Horror, both here in the UK and around the world.
Why not encourage others to share your Rocky experiences? No not like that, I didn't mean replaying the bedroom scenes in Sainsbury's, although that is an idea......
Some people also get into collecting items from the show, the film and all the various spin offs and even from some very obscure links indeed. I'll admit to buying a Crystal Maze board game simply because the show was hosted by the creator of Rocky Horror himself, Richard O'Brien. For some of the items that have been released, see our Cellar (Seller, get it!) section here on the site.
What Else? Well there are hundreds of Rocky Horror web sites on the net, some good, some bad, some so very weird they make this one look like the Waltons. Go exploring and enjoy what you find, just check your facts as there are some folks out there that like a good wind-up. Check the Links page for a start.
Above all, enjoy the show and Don't Dream It Be It!
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