Thursday, 18 September 2008

Rocky Horror Show, Sep 18, 2008 ****

Rocky Horror Show
Music and lyrics by Richard O’Brien
When & Where: Comedy Theatre,  Sept 18, 2008 (no closing date)
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Sept 18, 2008

It’s a tribute to Richard O’Brien’s imagination that Rocky Horror Show does not seem to date. In 1973, he came up with a foolproof recipe for a rock musical. It has sing-along, dance-along tunes, raunchy characters, wild orgies, hot and sexy costumes, a sweet transvestite, aliens, virgins being violated, an Adam and Eve allegory and just a smattering of S and M.

In Dale Ferguson’s stage cunning design, the shattered balconies of Frank N Furter’s decadent, on-stage castle blend into the real, gilded balconies of the Comedy Theatre. The auditorium is festooned with winking Christmas lights, the audience sucks blood-red daiquiris in neon glasses and the opening night crowd erupts as the curtain rises on Tamsin Carroll singing Science Fiction.

There are also on-stage eruptions. Frank N Furter, played by big-voiced, lanky rock singer, iOTA (OK), appears astride a winged chariot pulled by a giant phallus that ejaculates a flurry of oversized pink confetti. The crowd squealed with delight. Evidently such naughtiness is titiliating to even the most jaded.

 iOTA’s libidinous Frank N Furter is pretty and sensual so he lacks the grotesque ugliness of those previous transvestites. iOTA flounces, seduces and nibbles his way through a bevy of gorgeous young things on stage. He belts out Sweet Transvestite with alacrity but is equally compelling singing the moving ballad, I’m Going Home.

Paul Capsis’s Riff Raff wears a terminal sneer on his black lips and sings Time Warp with a voice that could cut glass. Tamsin Carroll is sultry and magnetic as his sister, Magenta and Sharon Millerchip is delicious playing Columbia as a blonde-bobbed Betty Boop with cupid lips.

Kelly Rode is a treat as a bleating, squeaking Janet and her Touch-A-Touch Me is thrilling. As her beau, Brad, Andrew Bevis has a rich warm voice and effortlessly makes the shift from geek to hottie.

John O’Connell’s choreography incorporates the sleazy moves of lap dancers and Julie Lynch’s costumes are a riot of vivid, lace and lame’ bustieres, vinyl boots, studded leather chokers and torn fishnet stockings.

The show would be nothing without a masterly rock band to play the hot favourite tunes in this decadent sexploitation musical.

Rocky Horror is still an intoxicating, indulgent rock musical and Gale Edwards’ production should keep them dancing in the aisles for months.

K Herbert

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