The Theatre Royal is hosting a Rock ‘N’ Roll alien invasion with the 50th Anniversary Tour of The Rocky Horror Show.
For those who have somehow avoided any knowledge of this cult musical (like my plus one), The Rocky Horror Show (the picture show is the movie it inspired) follows the story of one fateful evening when the All-American couple, Brad and Janet’s car breaks down, and they enter a castle seeking help. This castle is not occupied by your average house dwellers but by a menagerie of gender-fluid, eccentric oddities. The leader, Frank-N-Furter, is more than happy to entertain Brad and Janet by introducing them to his latest creation, Rocky. As the stormy night progresses, the young, innocent couple experience a sexual awakening and are shocked when they discover their overzealous host’s true identity.
This musical and subsequent movie pays homage to the early horror and sci-fi genre and includes such unforgettable songs as Sweet Transvestite, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me and one of the most famous musical theatre songs ever – The Time Warp.
While previous Australian productions have been overshadowed by controversy, this new adaptation has the audience rocking from the overture to the bows. The set, designed by Hugh Durrant, was simple yet engaging, with larger-than-life props and a film reel across the top, giving a nod to the movie genre.
This show is so well known by its groupies that they sang along and even delivered lines along with the cast. But their enthusiasm was no match for the high voltage power from the cast and band.
The ensemble was running at full power, with not one characterization, dance number or vocal lacking energy. Several of the leads led this energy, putting their triple threat status on display. Brad, played by Ethan Jones, Magenta, played by Stellar Perry, and Columbia, played by Darcey Eagle, all brought their unique characters to life with conviction. Still, they paled in comparison to the superstar vocals of Janet, played by Dierdre Khoo and Riff Raff, played by Henry Rollo. Honestly, I would happily watch a spin-off concert featuring these two performers… talk about incredible rock vocalists!!
Any actor that takes on the role of Frank-N-Furter has the biggest challenge in the show as they are continually compared to the iconic performance by Tim Curry. Jason Donovan, no stranger to the role, does not disappoint! He has taken the character in a brilliant new direction, building on Curry’s legacy and making it his own. Donovan oozes sexual and gender promiscuity, which ties the show together.
This production will be talked about for years to come, so don’t miss out on doing the Time Warp again!
– The other Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is an international performer and has established himself as a trusted theatre specialist on the Sydney Arts Scene. While he understands the technical side of theatre, Dan writes for the everyday theatregoer (unlike some of those more prominent publications). When not in the audience, he loves to travel the world trying new gin. Follow him on all the socials @talldancraig
The Rocky Horror Show runs for 2 hours (with a 20 min interval) and plays at Theatre Royal Sydney through 1 April 2023. Tickets are available through the Theatre Royal Box Office.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were guests of Lucky Star Media.
Image credit: Daniel Boud.