Tom Brennan is a walking, talking success story, having been taken under The North Wall’s wing as a young writer, and now winning awards for his work.

Which you can see for yourself as The Rocky Shock opens at the Summertown theatre, an irreverent, saucy and gender-bending pastiche of a classic Hollywood underdog story that many will know and love.

Brought to you by The Wardrobe Theatre, which has a habit of making darkly comic mash-ups of favourite Hollywood films, and co-founded by Tom back in 2010, other recent shows have included Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears, Reservoir Mogs and Muppits Die Hard.

Tom’s new comedy-boxing-musical is an adults-only show promises to provide an ‘all-natural, all-legal and all-American high.’

​As for the plot: picture the scene: it’s 1976; a world without men and women – only lovers, fighters, dancers and all-nighters, where the mean streets of Philadelphia are filled with campy song.

When small-time boxer Rocky Featherboa is challenged to the fight of a lifetime, the Italian Stallion must risk it all and learn to float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, dance like a rock’n’roll star and sing like a queen.

Matthew Whistle, producer and associate director of the show says: “The Rocky Shock subverts the American dream and asks people what it is they are actually chasing. The moral of the story is about being who you want to be, dressing how you want and being yourself, rather than buying a big house, with a lot of glitter and craziness thrown in. So it has real heart.”

Featuring four actors all playing lots of different characters, some of whom you’ll recognise and some you won’t, the show promises to be a really energetic, engaging night out.

“We hope to get everyone singing and dancing by the end,” Matthew explains.

“I hope in these even darker political times, there’s even more satirical fun to be had,” Tom adds.

“There’s a bunch of catchy songs by talented composer Tom Crosley-Thorne and the cast are electric.”

Tom Brennan is very much a product of The North Wall. Since being selected to participate in the theatre’s first ever Easter ArtsLab programme for young writers back in 2015, Tom’s association with the venue has never looked back.

It was at the North Wall that Tom first began to define himself properly as a writer, and he has since been invited back to write for in-house productions, to present his own work at festivals and (twice) to act as a writing mentor for successive generations of young writers. Now a named Creative Associate at the North Wall, who also regularly programme his company’s shows, he says:“I can’t get enough of the place. I’m always excited by the adventurousness of their audiences,” he says.

As for The Rocky Shock how would he recommend it? “It is a stupendously silly antidote to January doom and gloom.”

The Rocky Shock, Thursday, January 24 , The North Wall, Oxford. or 01865 319450.