'It’s just a jump to the past': subverting intertextual otherness in The Rocky Horror Show

Rush, Adam (2014) 'It’s just a jump to the past': subverting intertextual otherness in The Rocky Horror Show. In: 5th International “Music on Stage” Conference, 18th-19th October 2014, Rose Bruford College.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Richard O'Brien's 1972 musical, The Rocky Horror Show, is indisputably a sophisticated collage of references to classic musicals, science fiction, comic books and glam rock aesthetics, to name but a few. Much criticism has explored the musical, and it's cult film adaptation, as a provocative exploration of queer and gendered identities, but little scholarship has explored its unyielding use of intertextuality. As such, this paper argues that the musical sexualises its intertextual references through music to highlight the importance of individuality and thus subvert ingrained stereotypes of Otherness, gender and sexuality. Although many postmodern critics, Fredric Jameson, for instance, have argued that intentional parody, pastiche and intertextuality restrict artistic development, I suggest that the musical critiques popularised ideals of normalcy to highlight inadequacies within many social constructions of identity, rather than emphasise the boundaries of high/low art. Although the texts which influence the musical are from diverse artistic genres, many of which do not include music, The Rocky Horror Show presents a bizarre collection of intertextual references which critique the tropes of popular culture and, by extension, subvert them.

Keywords:Musical Theatre, Intertextuality, The Rocky Horror Show, Otherness, Gender, Sexuality
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:19995
Deposited On:12 Jan 2016 10:58

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