Speech Bubbles has outdone itself this year by presenting several performances of “The Rocky Horror Show,” aka the greatest rock’n’roll musical ever.
If you are up for some raucous entertainment and enjoy audience participation, this show is for you. It is a special treat for older expats like myself who in the mid-70s went faithfully to the live shows and became avid fans of the movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“What is Speech Bubbles?” you might ask.
Speech Bubbles Educational Theatre Group was established by Tom Godfrey in 1992. The primary aim of this multi-national Istanbul-based group is to stimulate and motivate young learners of English through the use of drama. Since its inception, Speech Bubbles has performed at venues in Istanbul as well as conducting tours to Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Adana, and cities in Hungary. The group consists primarily of professional English teachers and drama teachers who write their own material specially designed for learners of English. The plays incorporate mime, music and dance, ensuring a general comprehension of the material for a multi-lingual audience. Past performances include “Grease,” “Cabaret,” “Razzle Dazzle,” “Chicago,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and most recently, “Wicked”.
Another, and no less important, aim of these musicals is to raise money for charities that support children and education. All cast members are unpaid, donating their time and expertise to provide services and funding for underprivileged Turkish children.
Now let’s move on to the production itself. What on earth is “The Rocky Horror Show”?
“The Rocky Horror Show” is a cult classic, first produced as a stage play in the 1970s, then as a film. It tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and coming to the home of the mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who presents them with his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky Horror. Hilarious hijinks ensue. “The Rocky Horror Show” is NOT a scary play; it is a rock-musical making fun of old science-fiction and horror films The actors portray a wacky set of characters dressed in appropriately wacky clothing. It was designed to be an audience participation show, encouraging the audience to dress up like the characters and respond verbally or physically to certain cues. In the current production, people can yell back lines at the actors, dress up in costume, and throw props at various times during the show.
What about silly costumes and props?
The easiest way to have fun is to bring some props. A newspaper, a flashlight and a rubber glove will come in handy. When Brad and Janet are caught in the storm, Janet covers her head with a newspaper. At this point, you should likewise cover your head. During the “There’s a light” verse of “Over at the Frankenstein Place,” you can light up the theatre with your flashlight. During and after the creation speech, Frank snaps his rubber gloves three times. Later, Magenta pulls these gloves off his hands. You can snap your glove in sync each time to create a fantastic sound effect. If you want to know more about the silly costumes, just Google “The Rocky Horror Show” for examples.
And then there are the sing-a-longs and jump-abouts! People familiar with the show will sing along and move to the narrator’s instructions. Here’s an example to get you prepared.
“THE TIME WARP”
1. It’s just a jump to the left (with hands up).
2. A step to the right (quite a wide step).
3. (With your hands on your hips) you bring your knees in tight.
4. (Do) the pelvic thrust (five times. It really drives you insa-a-ane).
5. Hip swivel (if you are not already insa-a-ane).
6. Let’s do The Time Warp again. (Reach for the person in front of you to get them up to dance too.)
Narrator: It’s just a jump to the left
All: and then a step to the right
Narrator: with your hands on your hips
All: you bring your knees in tight
but it’s the pelvic thrust
that really drives you insane
let’s do the time warp again
let’s do the time warp again
However wild the show may seem, there are a few rules: do not bring food or drink into the theatre; do not squirt water or throw rice; do not smoke, and please turn off your cellular phones and other electronic devices, as they cause interference with the music and sound systems.
If you are thrilled with this presentation and want to help with the next production, please email: [email protected]
Speech Bubbles is performing “The Rocky Horror Show” at Muammer Karaca Tiyatrosu, İstiklal Cad. Muammer Karaca Çıkmazı, No. 3, Taksim, İstanbul.
Information and tickets available from www.speechbubbles.org
Friday, June 15, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 16, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Performance duration: two hours.
Tickets: TL 20 (adults), TL 15 (children, students and teachers)