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Japan's first exposure to The Rocky Horror Show was an import from London. Four of the original London cast, plus others who'd performed in London, took the show to Japan for a month tour. Popularity preceded the tour, with the cast being greeted like pop stars. A single of Sweet Transvestite was released in Japan sung by Ziggy Byfield, and Toucha Toucha was released as a single by Belinda Sinclair. The show played in normal theatres not cinemas.

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Opened 1975 in Tokyo at Shakai Bunka Kaikan July 30 - Aug 11, then to Osaka

Production Details

Book, Music & Lyrics by Richard O'Brien
Original Music and Arrangements by Richard Hartley

Directed by Jim Sharman (Rayner Bourton assisted)
Production Design - Brian Thomson
Costumes - Sue Blane

Principal Cast
Dr. Frank-N-Furter : Ziggy Byfield
Janet Weiss : Belinda Sinclair
Brad Majors : Christopher Malcolm
Riff-Raff : Desmond McNamara
Usherette/Magenta : Caroline Noh
Columbia : Judith Lloyd
Eddie/Dr. Scott : Paddy O'Hagan
Rocky Horror : Rayner Bourton
The Narrator : Peter Bayliss
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Let's Do The Time Warp Again!

 

 

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1976

Programme

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The show was so successful, in the late summer of 1976 the Rocky Horror Show toured Japan again, playing an amazing 16 cities in three and a half months. Venues included Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Sapporo and Fukuoka.

Production Details

Produced by the Walking Elephant Company

Book, Music & Lyrics by Richard O'Brien
Original Music and Arrangements by Richard Hartley

Directed by David Toguri
Production Design - Brian Thomson
Costumes - Sue Blane

 

Principal Cast


Dr. Frank-N-Furter: Martin Asscher
Janet Weiss: Deirdre Dee
Brad Majors: Derek Beard
Rocky Horror: Rayner Bourton
Riff-Raff: John Dicks
Usherette/Magenta: Tina Jones
Columbia: Jeannie Mcarthur
Eddie/Dr. Scott: Peter Dawson
The Narrator: James Smith

Ushers/Backing Vocals:
Derek Damon, Glen Conway and Sally Reymond

Although credited in all the 76 programmes, Martin Asscher only played Frank in Tokyo. He injured his knee and was replaced for the rest of the tour by Derek Damon

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Peter Dawson played two roles, Eddy, the young punk victim of Frank’n Furter’s evil revenge and Dr Scott, the wheelchair-bound cross-dressing teacher of the show’s ‘innocents’ Brad and Janet. UKN interviewed Peter on a recent visit to Manchester, a place he has come to consider his second home over the years. He gave us his impressions of a Japan which had just emerged as an economic powerhouse and whose cultural doors (post Lennon-Ono) has well and truly opened up to and interpreted the explosion in pop culture of the previous decade in Europe and the States.

 

 

UKN: How did you get to Japan back then?
Peter:We flew JAL out, Aeroflot home! The production company was economising!
UKN: How were Japanese audiences – did they sing along?
Peter: Certainly. They loved the show and kept coming back. There was even a fan club.
UKN: What was the accommodation like?
Peter: Excellent, good hotels throughout with a choice of Japanese or western breakfasts!
UKN: What has been your experience of Japan and its people since you toured there.
Peter: Sadly, not a lot. I’ve been to several Japanese restaurants in London but they tend to be very expensive and it’s best to have someone to guide you through the menu. But I do have a good friend Masako in Manchester, as well as meeting some of her friends, and that tends to roll back the years.
UKN: What connections do you have with Manchester?
Peter: Well, it’s my partner’s home town so I go up quite regularly and I actually worked at the Library Theatre there on several occasions. I’m also a fan of Manchester City football club!
UKN: Finally, could you sum up your memories of Japan in 3 words?
Peter: Exotic, exciting, enigmatic!

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Poster released during the 1976 Tour, to advertise the Original London and Roxy Cast recordings!

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For more information on Rocky Horror in Japan visit:

ROCKY HORROR Tokyo JAPAN

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Programme Cover Detail

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Special Japanese release EP of the Original London Cast

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©2015 Mark Jabara Ellison Productions