The world renown Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show kicked of its tour of our great country in late December, here in Adelaide. We were lucky enough to see a special late show on New Years Eve… and boy! what a way to send off 2017!
The progressive yet impressive renovations to the Festival Centre didn’t hamper the crowd who attended on mass to see Craig McLachlan don the coveted fishnets, and return to his Helpmann Award winning role as Dr. Frank N Furter. Many of the audience were dressed as a character of the show, and we entered the lobby of the theatre to a veritable buzzing caused by excited show-goers… many of them fabulously cross-dressing, selfie-snapping fans of the musical smash hit.
The stage design was kept simple yet effective, and the lighting was sophisticated. The talented band was visible (an element which I think adds to any musical experience) high above the actors heads, on a specially designed stage.
After the opening song ‘Science Fiction’, sung perfectly by Amanda Harrison, the curtain pulled back to reveal a comical opening scene of Brad (Rob Mallet) and Janet (Michelle Smitheram) side by side in their car, on their way home from a wedding. When the car suffers a flat tire in the pouring rain, things take a turn for the worst for the young couple, as they find themselves at the mercy of Frank and his gang of saucy, naughty, sexy and creepy characters.
In keeping with the ‘brash and bitchy’ version of Frank who was first let loose on Aussie stages 40 years ago by Reg Livermore, Craig personalises Frank further by giving him an – at times – somewhat campy strut, which could only be described as a mincing-swizzle (I know right… As if Frank could get any camper!?).
All of the characters were well rounded and believable, performed by a cast of very talented actors, not in the least ‘Columbia’ who was played by Adelaide’s own shining star Nadia Komazec. Bravo!
While the Adelaide audience were a little reluctant to jump up and (take a step to the right) dance along during the show (as is virtually Rocky Horror tradition) there were no shortage of loud hecklers when the narrator (Cameron Daddo) was attempting to get through his lines. Deliberately planted or not, this provided plenty of laughs throughout the course of the evening.
The fantastically entertaining show finished just after 11:30pm, and by the time the cast had taken their final bows to a standing ovation, and performed a wonderful mash-up of ‘Time Warp’ and ‘Sweet Transvestite’, everyone was finally out of their seats dancing and singing along with token red feather boas flying through the air, ready to take the joy outside in time to see the midnight fireworks over the Torrens River, celebrating the beginning of the new year.
Words by Kimberley Kurmis.