"Let there be Lips!"

A short time after the convention, Roisin, Davy, Barbara and others were sitting one night in The Empire Bar, Botantic Avenue, Belfast. A general discussion soon focused on the Convention; the role of Charming Underclothes as a shadow group to the film showing; what had previously happened at the QFT; and more particularly the Belfast audience response. It was quickly decided that Belfast was ready for a RHPS performance group, after all how difficult could it be to find a group of like minded individuals in Belfast who enjoyed dressing up in ladies underwear and performing in a cinema in public!

 Dream on!

An empty cigarette packet was ripped open, flattened, a pen procured and ideas for a cast were hastily scribbled down. Once Roisin and Davy had allocated all their family members and friends into cast positions without their knowledge or permission ..... a minor triviality ........ they sat back pleased with themselves. Belfast had a performance group, and they were called .............. oopppss!!! No name!

Obviously looking at groups around the world, many had taken specific parts of film Belfast Lipsdialogue as their names, i.e. ‘Charming Underclothes’, ‘Satanic Mechanics’ etc. To be honest though this was a little obvious for Roisin and Davy, they wanted something specific to them ....... and something which defined clearly the Belfast connection with Patricia Quinn. They pondered it over another drink or two ....... then Davy came up with ‘Lip Service’. This reflected the use of Pat’s lips during ‘Science Fiction, Double Feature’ and the logo which had become synonymous with the whole Rocky Horror Picture Show phenomena.

In the cold light of day, ..... the next day, reality set in ..... OK so a group had been formed, on paper or should that be cardboard only ........ now what.

The next step was to formally approach the director of QFT, in an effort to have the group recognised and try to secure some form of co-operation with the cinema staff. There would be no point in turning up to perform, only to have staff insisting that we ‘sit in the seat’. Roisin and Davy contacted Mr Michael Open and arranged an appointment. Much to their surprise, well Davy’s at least, they got an appointment, the ball had started to roll there was to be no stopping it now.

QFT LogoAt the meeting Roisin and Davy explained what they had in mind a group of fans initially performing parts of the film as a shadow cast while the film was played in the background. Michael responded that that would be fine that many fans often got up and danced around to parts of the film. He explained he would love to get the film back regularly to the QFT as it had been in the early and mid-eighties and any assistance was appreciated. Roisin and Davy realised that the penny hadn’t quite dropped about what they were proposing, but were excited at the prospect of more frequent showings. They drew parallels with other casts, particularly ‘Charming Underclothes’ in London, and explained that all being well, Belfast and QFT in particular would have it’s own Rocky group who would lead the audience participation and ultimately shadow the entire film from beginning to end, complete with props and all the other paraphernalia.

Realising what they had in mind, Michael simply asked what did QFT have to do to make it happen? All Davy and Roisin needed, was the co-operation of the staff, a microphone, a spotlight, a chair and the facility to play an audio tape over the speaker system at the start to provide the pre-show! Not too much to ask surely. It was agreed. This was to be the start of a highly amicable and successful relationship between QFT and the group.

‘Lip Service’ was off and running!