Rocky Horror Show
QPAC, Lyric Theatre
January 8 – February 9
The classic rock and roll musical “Rocky Horror Show” may have begun as Richard O’Brien’s love letter to B grade horror movies, but has since morphed into a cult phenomenon, celebrating its 40th anniversary with an Australian revival, kicking off at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre in Brisbane.
The pelvic thrust of the show is the strange and sordid tale of Brad (Hi-5’s Tim Maddren) and Janet (Christie Whelan Browne), two naïve lovebirds whose car gets a flat (well how ‘bout that), causing them to stumble towards the light over at the Frankenstein place, the castle of sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania Dr Frank N’ Furter. A corset-clad Craig McLachlan shines in his reprisal of the mad alien scientist role; his sassy, suggestive stage presence and cheeky comic timing may show shades of Tim Curry timing, but he very much makes this Frank his own and his playful M-rated performance is one not to be missed. Kristian Lavercombe’s ghoulishly gleeful Riff Raff is another highlight.
But glitter, fishnets and corsets aside, at the heart of this show is its music. The band belts out the rock and roll classics and (of course) the Time Warp steals the show and, in encore, gets the audience on its feet. The choreography is perfectly in tone with the show’s outrageously camp hilarity. Pyrotechnics add to the fun and frivolous atmosphere of the second act stage show, yet equally capture the melancholy of the show’s final numbers as the audience ponders the lament of ‘insects called the human race, lost in time, and lost in space’. The show is a relatively short one, as musicals go, and are a number of moments towards the end of Act Two during which there appears to be padding for time, not that the audience seems bothered.
Some shows are worth reviving, even if only for nostalgic purposes, but for “Rocky Horror” to work really well, there needs to be a committed audience, and the full house of enthusiastic fans didn’t disappoint. “Rocky Horror Show” is an event as much as a show, with people watching payoff like I haven’t experienced since Gaga’s last Brisbane concert.
So with a jump to the left and then a step to the right, if you are keen for a show that is a whole lot of adult-flavoured fun, give yourself over to absolute pleasure and head over to QPAC to see what’s in the lab.
Photos c/o – Jeff Busby