REVIEW: Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until Saturday, May 18.

It’s a strange show where the audience delivers all the best lines.

But then again, the Rocky Horror Show is a very strange show indeed – audience participation gone mad on a night like no other.

To the uninitiated, it’s a baffling evening at first as you wonder whether you’ve wandered into someone else’s very private party, one with all sorts of rules, mostly beyond human understanding.

But slowly the cult works its magic.

There’s no denying that you need to know the show inside out and backwards to enjoy it to the maximum; it seems helps if you are wearing fishnet tights over horribly hairy legs.

You also need, for many of the shout-outs, a sense of comic timing even sharper than the performers are displaying.

But put it all together, and there’s something which eventually grabs you, a show of weird and wonderful inspiration which has weathered the 40 years since its premiere remarkably well – thanks largely to a cracking score with some superb numbers that will whizz round and round your head for hours afterwards.

Oliver Thornton and Sam Attwater ham it up for all its worth (which is clearly quite a lot); and Philip Franks, so familiar to Chichester audiences after years of Christmas concerts, keeps his poise (though not necessarily his trousers) beautifully as the narrator.

It comes billed as a party; a semi-private club would be more accurate, but it won’t be long before you’re wanting to join it too (minus the stockings, of course).

Phil Hewitt