The Rocky Horror Show

A review by C J Dee
  • Director: Christopher Luscombe
  • Starring: Craig McLachlan, Christie Whelan Browne, Tim Maddren, Eric Heynatz, Kristian Lavercombe, Ashlea Pyke, Brendan Irving, Nicholas Christo, Tony Farrell
  • Venue: Melbourne Comedy Theatre
  • Running time: Approx 120 minutes (including interval)
  • Rating: ★★★★ 5/5

Song List: Science Fiction. Damn It, Janet. Over at the Frankenstein House. The Time Warp. Sweet Transvestite. The Sword of Damocles. I Can Make You a Man. Hot Patootie. Reprise: I Can Make You a MAn. Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me. Once in a While. Eddie’s Teddy. Planet Schmanet. Floor Show. Going Home. Superheroes. Reprise: Science Fiction. Encore: Time Warp, Sweet Transvestite, Time Warp.

Brad Majors (Maddren) and fiancée Janet Weiss (Browne) are an innocent young couple headed to announce their engagement to the teacher in whose class they first met. On route however, the couple are stopped by a flat tyre and go looking for help. What they stumble upon instead is the castle of Dr Frank-N-Furter (McLachlan) and his minions, servants and ghouls.

If Craig McLachlan doesn’t win a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical, then there should be rioting at the award ceremony. McLachlan’s portrayal of Dr Frank-N-Furter channelled a considerable amount from Tim Curry’s iconic film performance but added McLachlan’s own Australian twist. McLachlan’s interactions with the crowd were hilarious. At one point during the performance McLachlan spotted a young girl in the audience and, upon finding out the girl was only nine-years-old, quickly instructed the girl to “ignore everything Uncle Frank does from here on in”. I could not speak highly enough about McLachlan’s performance.

Craig McLachlan all but stole the show with his dazzling performance but that’s not to say the rest of the cast wasn’t incredibly talented. Kristian Lavercombe’s portrayal of Riff Raff was captivating from the moment he appeared in the castle for ‘Over at the Frankenstein House’. The rest of the cast performed admirably in their respective roles but, for this reviewer at least, McLachlan and Lavercombe had the stand out performances.

The music was sensational. The performances from both the band and actors did not fail to impress. The Rocky Horror Show has, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, one of the most iconic, recognizable and fun soundtracks in the history of theater. The band and cast of this run did not disappoint.

The light work was incredible. This is an odd thing to remark on when there are such talented performers both on and off stage but it added significantly to the ambiance. The beams of colored light, the spotlights, the anti-matter ray gun effects, the rain emulating lights – all were crucial to the visual story telling of the show.

So give yourself over to absolute pleasure and shiver with antici … pation. Go see the current run of The Rocky Horror Show. You will not be disappointed.

Rocky Horror Show - look what's on the slab!