Entertainment Hive 2020

The Rocky Horror Show

Adelaide Festival Theatre, until April 13

Review by Honey B

Time warp back with me, if you may, to the 40th anniversary revival of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show. It is an astounding show that has lasted the test of time and continues to seduce, surprise, shock and delight audience members. The Adelaide season of Rocky Horror had many shivering in anticipation due to the special appearance of the show's creator Richard O'Brien in the role of The Narrator. He stepped on-stage to rapturous applause which was only equalled by the appearance of the scene- stealing stage and television star Craig McLachlan. McLachlan stepped into the high heels of Frank N Furter for the second time and with a few years under his corset he gave a commanding, nuanced and saucy performance. He had the audience eating out of his hands as soon as the set doors opened to reveal McLachlan in his long black cape and fishnets. O'Brien has dubbed him the "funniest'' Frank to strut the stage and he certainly was but he was also seductive, naughty and energetic. He often broke through the fourth wall and spoke directly to the audience or gave a cheeky wink. The woman sitting next to me was already vowing to buy tickets to see the show again while sighing: "Wow, he looks good.'' In fact the whole cast was pretty damn good. Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Brown were totally sweet as the newly engaged Brad and Janet - that's until the pair discovered their own wicked sides. Maddren was suitably nerdy - but who doesn't love a nerd! While Whelan Brown was wide-eyed and beautiful until she let loose in her brilliant coming out song, Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me - talk about a firecracker. Rocky, played by Brendan Irving had to take a backseat to the brilliant Ms Whelan Brown but his svelte physique certainly kept fans enthralled and he gave the title character a lovely naivety. As the Transylvanian servants Magenta and Riff Raff, Erika Heynatz and Kristian Lavercombe were fantastic. Heynatz has again proven her versatility as she played the dual roles of Magenta and the Usherette. Through all of the music, dance numbers and frivolity the highlight of the production were the bed scenes between Frank and Janet and Frank and Brad. The audience and the actors (McLachlan, Whelan Brown and Maddren) gave themselves over to the pleasures of the scenes and fans commended them with raucous laughter. Kudos must also go to director Christopher Luscome who sets a cracking pace and creates a bold and timeless Rocky. The cartoonish sets by Hugh Durrant were also brilliant as was the superb lighting by Nick Richings. Sue Blane also did a fantastic job with the costumes with a nod to the movie and the wigs were to die for. Come the end of the show fans were dying to get up and dance and that they did to a reprise of Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite. Be warned: don't miss this three week season and let the creatures of the night take over your mind.
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