A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When I arrived at Leiden one of the first things I did was to join the Leiden English Freshers theatre group. It can be difficult to make friends when doing a masters because you tend to see your course mates only rarely, as usually you have very few lectures. Last term I was in the Christmas production of Pygmalion which was a great success and this term it’s Roxy Horror. Yes, the name should ring a bell; it’s a reworking of the original Rocky Horror Show.
In January I arrived nervously at the auditions. It had been about seven years since I had prepared any kind of singing performance so I was rather shaky. It seemed to go well but everyone there was rather perturbed that no men had yet arrived to audition. We waited patiently but by the end of the day gave up hope. Thus it was decided that it was to be an all-female production and Rocky was to become Roxy with some Chicago show tunes thrown in for good measure. It was only an hour later that we heard the parts we were to have. I don’t think it would be possible for me to explicate my surprise at being cast as Roxy.
If you’ve seen the film you’ll know that Rocky wears only a pair of golden Speedos. I nervously took the part on the condition that I wouldn’t be wearing a gold bikini (I was somewhat won over by the fact that my part included my own solo song, All That Jazz). Four months later I finally saw my costume. Well, it might not be a bikini but it almost may as well be!
A week ago the entire cast had a chat about what the Rocky Horror Show meant to its fans. To be honest I had been having such a great time practicing with my friends that I hadn’t really thought about it but it seems to mean a great deal to its aficionados. I like the message it offers: that anyone can be sexy: no one is perfect, and even the most imperfect can be attractive. Unconventional is beautiful, and although Roxy is the conventional beauty she rebels against this stereotype.
Last night was the dress rehearsal. To be honest there were a fair number of glitches but I have no doubt they will all be ironed out by performance night. Which is on Thursday –aaaaaagh- Wish me luck!