It’s very raunchy, fun and colorful. It’s the Rocky Horror Show and it’s on again in Melbourne after a successful season last year.
It’s easy to see why, since its first appearance at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become one of the world’s favourite Rock N’ Roll musicals.
This new production, to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary, seems a little more raunchy than previous productions but the story line remains unchanged as we follow the adventures of squeaky-clean sweethearts Brad and Janet who find themselves stranded in the castle of the scandalous Frank-n-Furter.
Television and theatre star Craig McLachlan is again a standout as Frank-N-Furter. He won one of Australia’s top stage awards – the Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical – for this role last year and it is easy to see why. His timing impeccable, his facial expressions wonderful and on opening night, at least, had a great rapport with the audience. He also looks as if he is really enjoying himself!
Playing the roles of Janet and Brad, the naive young couple caught up in a situation they don’t understand, are Amy Lehpamer and Stephen Mahy. Jayde Westaby plays Magenta. Angelique Cassimatis is Columbia while Bert Newton plays the Narrator. Newton received one of the biggest cheers on opening night. Other cast members include Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff, Nicholas Christo as Eddie and Dr Scott, and Brendan Irving as Rocky.
All the cast perform the songs that have made Rocky Horror so successful over the years with great energy and enthusiasm. Those songs include The Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite, Dammit Janet, I Can Make You A Man, Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me and Over At The Frankenstein Place. The choreography is another highlight of this production.
While Rocky Horror isn’t for the prudish it is an enjoyable and funny production and the reaction of the crowd on opening night suggest this new season will be just as successful as last year’s.
Update: Rocky Horror Show author Richard O’Brien is playing the Narrator on June 30, July 1, 2, 5 (5.30pm only), 7, 8 and 9 performances.
Jenny Burns attended the Rocky Horror Show on June 14 as a guest of the Gordon Frost Organisation.