Theatre Review: Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show 2018

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Presented by Howard Panter, John Frost and GWB Entertainment
Reviewed 31 December 2017

The Rocky Horror Show is probably THE definitive Cult Classic, having run almost continually somewhere in the world for just on 45 years. Admittedly The Mousetrap has run longer, but it is nowhere near as interesting, nor as much fun.

This latest production is a great way to start the New Year and launch the refurbishment of the Festival Theatre. This rowdy, raunchy, rollicking, rock ‘n’ rolling version of the musical schlock horror send-up has EVERYTHING! Not the least being the brilliantly multi-talented Craig McLachlan, reprising his Helpmann Award winning performance as Frank N Furter.

McLachlan is magnificent as the Sweet Transvestite, Transexual Transylvanian. His performance is a master-class in comic timing and delivery, but with touches of great emotional frailty toward the end – his rendition of Going Home making one want to grab a tissue. But it is his gloriously campy ‘eating-of-the-scenery’ that has one constantly in fits of laughter: do not miss the beginning of Act Two with the bedroom scene taking as long as he wants, with the audience just lapping it up.

However, let’s not forget the rest of the extremely talented cast! Michelle Smitheram and Rob Mallett as Janet and Brad are the classic misplaced innocents and display their vocal talents well, especially in their respective solo numbers Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me and Once In A While. Kristian Lavercombe is creepily funny and energetic, but with a dangerous edge, as Riff Raff and, in this reviewer’s opinion, runs rings around Richard O’Brien’s filmic portrayal. As The Usherette/Magenta, Amanda Harrison is in excellent voice, and Nadia Komazec gives us all the tap dance prowess that we expect from Columbia. Nicely fitting the bill physically as Rocky, Brendan Irving also gives the role a nice ‘child’ like innocence. Adam Rennie as Eddie/Dr Scott and Bianca Baykara, Ross Chisari, Hayley Martin and Stephen McDowell as Phantoms all add to the high level of talent on the stage well.

As The Narrator, Cameron Daddo offers a touch of sophistication with a lovely touch of cheekiness.(Be warned: in some performances, the role will be played by Adelaide’s own cheeky, sophisticated chappy, Peter Goers).

Director Christopher Luscombe has filled the show with hilarity and over-the-top zaniness well, giving the fans exactly what they want. Musical Director Dave Skelton and his fantastic band of four (Dave Theak, Gavin Pearce, Simon Hosford and Thom Mann) don’t disappoint either. Add Hugh Durrant’s filmic ‘reel’ set design and Nick Richings’ brilliant lighting design and you have the formula for creating the perfect man – oops, sorry, show.

The Rocky Horror Show is only in Adelaide for two weeks, so don’t show any an-ti-ci-pation, head on over to the Frankenstein place and Time Warp with joy.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey

Venue: Festival Theatre
Season: Until 13 January 2018
Duration: 2 hours with a 20 min interval
Tickets: $59.90 – $144.90

Photo credit: Jeff Busby

 

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Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide. South Australia's positive news website, proudly supporting the Arts.

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