Do people still send postcards these days…?
25 years ago I wrote a fan letter to Richard O’Brien, creator of The Rocky Horror Show, and I received this postcard in return. I’d been trying to get hold of a copy of the RHPS ‘sequel’ Shock Treatment on videotape, to no avail; as you can see, he was no help on that subject, but I remember being so thrilled to get a response (and a postcard to boot).
This is a promo postcard for Richard’s television show The Crystal Maze, a sort-of live action platform computer game with teams tasked with completing mental and physical tests to find ‘crystals’ in a vast studio split into themed zones eg. industrial, Aztec, futuristic, medieval. It debuted in February 1990 and this card was sent in June. He confirms that a new (second) series is planned, and it would go on to run for six series between 1990 and 1995 (Richard left in 1993 and was replaced by Ed Tudor-Pole). He also mentions the imminent opening of a new stage version of The Rocky Horror Show which will open in the West End on July 16th – this was the first West End production of the show since 1980 and had by far the best-known company since the show’s inception in 1973: Tim McInnerny as Frank N. Furter, Adrian Edmondson as Brad and Ed Tudor-Pole (who took over from Richard in The Crystal Maze) played Riff Raff. Continuity to the original production was restored with Jonathan Adams reprising his role as the Narrator and Christopher Malcolm, the original Brad, as producer. The show played at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Rocky Horror continues to bring in audiences, and now Shock Treatment is doing the same. After almost 35 years the ‘sequel-equal’ now has it’s own stage show which started previewing at the Kings Head Theatre in Islington on Friday night. I saw it last night and it’s a blast. It’s different to the show in many ways, not least in the expurgation of Bert Schnick and the elevation of Ralph Hapschatt as a main character. But, the most notable difference is… it makes sense, something the film failed to do entirely!