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The BFI Denton Convention and Screenings 2016
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The BFI Denton Convention and Double Feature Screening

A celebration of 41 years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 35 years of Shock Treatment

With Patricia Quinn, Richard Hartley, Sue Blane, Jeremy Newson, Claire Toeman, David John, Donald Waugh, Gary Shail, Sinitta, Benji Sperring, Tom Crowley, Alex Beetschen, Andrew Sanders, Mateo Oxley, and on video Jim Sharman.

Plus an international performing cast of fans old and new for both movies.

It was great when it all began..........

Back in the last century (well the late 1980's), a young lady by the name of Gia started a little Rocky Horror Picture Show performing group called Charming Underclothes. A group of Rocky Horror fans got together every week at the Screen on Baker Street (and later the Prince Charles Cinema) to dress up and shadowcast the movie. Steph and I joined in the first few months of the group and we went on to do more than 400 shows.

Fast forward to 2016 and Gia puts out the word that she wants to 'get the band back together' for special screening at the prestigious British Film Institute on London's South Bank for a double screening to celebrate 41 years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 35 years of Shock Treatment. As well as some of the original members of Charming Underclothes we also had performers from other UK casts as well as USA and European shadow cast members.

The event then gets a little bigger when a mini-convention is added to the day, with guests from both movies as well as from the recent London stage production of Shock Treatment. Helping organise the day is Mad Man Mike and Marty, who along with Ruth also host some of the panels of guests throughout the day.

I was a regular Frankie Fan..........

It was lovely to see a facebook conversation a week or so before the event with someone asking how ticket sales were going and the reply of "It's sold out!!!" appearing on screen. NFT1, the movie screening room has 450 seats. The mini-convention also had over a hundred attendees throughout the day.

As well as the guest panels we also had 'The Blue Room' a nice area for the fans to chill out and admire some original posters and some of the actual costumes from the show/movie.

The day kicked off around 1pm with and introduction to the programme of events from Mike and myself in NFT3, followed by Marty hosting the first of our guest forums.

Oscar Drill and The Bits Reunion

Oscar Drill and the Bits reunionWe were joined by Clare Toeman, Gary Shail, Donald Waugh, Sinitta and David John to discuss their memories of of filming Shock Treatment.

It proved to be an excellent panel, with some great stories of how they all got involved with the movie and their experiences of the production.

Gary Shail told a great tale of how he was asked by a fan what the tee-shirt he was wearing during the movie actually read, their only clue was a glimpse of the letters "CK SN" beneath his jacket. Gary couldn't remember at all, but confidently told them it was "COCK SNAKE". He later found out not only did the person take him at his word, but "COCK SNAKE" tee-shirts were now available on the internet.

It Was Great When It All Began-Fan Panel

Fan panel Next up we had a fan panel. This was a general discussion about 'the early days' in New York and London and the ongoing fandom. Mike Ellenbogen, Gia Milinovich and Ruth Fink-Winter looked back on the start of performing casts and early Rocky Horror fandom. I also joined them on the panel, something I wasn't expecting to do, but I must say it was most enjoyable and pretty soon just turned into a chat with old friends.

It was lovely to hear how the fandom differed in the USA, but even better to reaslise that we all shared so much in common with our love of Rocky Horror.

From Screen To Stage - The Making of the Shock Treatment Stage Show.

From Screen To Stage - The Making of the Shock Treatment Stage ShowAfter a short break Mike hosted a panel with the creative team behind last year's on stage adaptation of Shock Treatment, Benji Sperring, Tom Crowley and Alex Beetschen.

We were all treated to a fascinating insight as to how the production evolved to work in the small space of The King's Head Theatre as well as the thought processes that went into a much loved production. The audience question of "Are you going to tour the show?" was most welcome to hear, but at present there are no plans to do so.

Yes, Janet. Ralph's a lucky guy - Jeremy Newson In Conversation.

Jeremy Newson In ConversationWe were very lucky to have with us Jeremy Newson as he had never appeared at a Rocky event before. Jeremy was the only actor to play the same role in both The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Shock Treatment and we were treated to his wonderful recollections of both movies.

It was interesting to go through the process of how he was able to bring more to the character in Shock Treatment and Jeremy pointed out that his role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show involved just a days filming. It's one of those things you don't think about when you watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show as his character has a major role in setting up the day for Brad and Janet.

A great guest and we all felt honoured that this was the first fan event he had attended.

You're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're all lucky!- Patricia Quinn In Conversation.

Patricia Quinn In ConversationAfter another ten minute break Marty was joined on stage by the one and only Patricia Quinn. We have seen Patricia at many events over the years and she never fails to delight the audiences with her wonderful stories about The Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as Shock Treatment.

We were also treated to several clips of her other work, including the Dr.Who adventure Dragon Fire, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life as well as some more recent work. It was fascinating to hear of her memories of working on all these programmes and films as well as her acting career.

I loved the tales of what 68 Harley Street used to be (you had to be there to understand that one).

Well first you go rip rip rip, then you go snip snip snip- In conversation with Sue Blane.

In conversation with Sue BlaneTo round off the mini convention Ruth was joined on stage by the original costume designer for The Rocky Horror Show, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Shock Treatment, Sue Blane.

We were treated to a look at some of Sue's original drawings for the productions as well as other shows she had designed for.

It was interesting to hear how Sue had travelled to the USA to source the costumes for Shock Treatment and the 2,000 excess baggage charge (that's about 6,000 in today's money) she incurred bringing them back to the UK.

It was also very amusing to watch Ruth make notes all the way through the discussion, you know you have a great guest when even the host is taking notes.

Movie Time - The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

PatThe first of our double feature movies began with an introduction at around 6pm.

I went on stage to do a little housekeeping announcement or two from the BFI and to welcome everyone to the evening's screening. I also read out a little message from Richard O'Brien himself, that he had kindly sent to us.

After a quick bit of audience participation, just to check how many 'virgins' we had in the audience (quite a few as it turned out!) I introduced Patricia Quinn to do the introduction to the movie itself.

The screening was shadow casted by a truly international collection of fans, many of us performing together for the first time. It was a splendid show, if I do say so myself, and you can scroll down the page to see galleries of images from not only the day, but also the shadow cast performances.

Shock Treatment Question and Answers.

Shock Treatement Question and AnswersBefore the screening of Shock Treatment we were treated to a panel of guests consisting Andrew Sanders, Claire Toeman, Gary Shail, Jeremy Newson, Patricia Quinn, Richard Hartley and Sue Blane.

Benji Sperring hosted this interesting panel chat and it was a great opportunity for those in the audience who hadn't attended the mini-convention to hear some great stories about the making of the movie.

We also had a recorded message from Jim Sharman himself, shown on the main screen.

Movie Time - Shock Treatment.

Shock TreatementWhat a wonderful way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Shock Treatment, once more with a shadow cast here in the UK.

Although The Rocky Horror Picture Show has seen hundreds of screenings in the UK with full shadow casting, you can count the number of times Shock Treatment has been performed with a shadow cast on the fingers of one hand. It is much more common in the USA, but over here a rare event indeed.

Again we have many photos featuring the shadow cast further down the page.

Are you having a party?

Yes we were.

To round off the day beautifully, a small party was hosted by the BFI.

A wonderful end to a fantastic day.

A huge thank you to all the guests that gave their time to be with the fans.
Another huge thank you to all the staff and crew at the BFI.
And finally a thank you to Mike, Marty and Ruth for being excellent hosts and to the driving force of this whole day Gia (you get a hug as well!)

DaveTWW Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Galleries of images from the event - images online 343       Queued/Previewed 0 (Thumbnails only at this time)

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If you would like to send us some images to include here on the timewarp.org.uk site please email them to BFIDenton2016@timewarp.org.uk and we will add them to our galleries.

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