InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


The Rocky Horror Show


Comments Print article

“It was great when it all began”: in 1973 a rock n roll musical which broke down sexual constraints and celebrated absolute pleasure hit the London stage.

In 1974 it strutted to Australia on the high heels of the glorious Reg Livermore. Two years later the film version, starring the sensuously delightful Tim Curry, turned this show into a worldwide cult hit.

“Let’s do the time warp again”: and now it’s back in Australia following a 12 month run in the UK, celebrating its 40th anniversary, this time starring Craig McLachlan as a camp, over-the-top transvestite Dr Frank-N-Furter. This is McLachlan’s second time around in the role, and he obviously relishes every moment he’s tucked into his bodice and suspenders.

Adelaide audiences have the pleasure of seeing the show’s creator, Richard O’Brien, playing the role of the narrator this time around. At 70 plus years old, O’Brien’s indomitable presence is a bonus in this production, which often lacks the flair of the original Australian production.

“I really love that rock-n-roll”: the songs are superbly played by Dave Skelton’s band and the audience was singing along throughout.

Kristian Lavercombe was a stand out as Riff Raff, Ashlea Pyke in the role of Columbia was a singing and tap dancing dynamo, and Christie Whelan Browne and Tim Maddren were faultless as in their respective roles of Janet and Brad.

It’s titillating, it’s timeless, it’s transsexual, but at times this version felt a parody of a more befitting era, where androgyny and glitter were the flavours of the day, where Frank, the alien transvestite, slotted in beautifully between Bowie and Bolan.

Still, it’s nice to be whisked back there, if only fleetingly.

The Rocky Horror Show is playing at the Adelaide Festival Theatre until April 13.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Theatre stories

Loading next article