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The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Show

Written and Created by Richard O’Brien

Directed by Christopher Luscombe

Choreographer Nathan M. Wright

Photo Credit Danial Boud

Theatre Royal until April 1

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP

The Rocky Horror Show

It’s been 50 years since I saw the first Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show at the New Arts Cinema in Glebe. That memorable and innovative experience starred Reg Livermore, Kate Fitzpatrick, Jane Harders, John Paramor, Sal Sharah, Maureen Elkner, Graham Matters and Arthur Dignam. With all of that performing talent under the direction of Jim Sharman, we won’t see another production like it.

That stated, I never tire of seeing good interpretations of the show.

The latest version has opened at the Theatre Royal, and it’s different from all previous offerings.

The castings in all of the other productions have been strictly "white bread", but this one has diversity. Janet is beautifully played by Singaporean triple threat Deirdre Khoo, who has a sweet and strong yet innocent singing voice. Instead of being a tall, blond Scandinavian, Rocky is a gay, black character played by Jamaican Loredo Malcolm.

theatre royal sydney

In the role of Brad, Ethan Jones enters looking a lot like the gay stand-up comedian, Rhys Nicholson.

As Frank N Furter, Jason Donovan plays his character like Tim Curry and has toned down Frank’s usually forceful projection of sex appeal. He's like a talented version of Craig McLachlan.

A feature for me is Henry Rollo as Riff Raff, who could be any or all genders. Every time he’s on stage, eyes go straight to him.

Other powerful performances are turned in by Stellar Perry as Magenta and the Usherette, Ellis Dolan as Dr Scott, and the adorable Darcey Eagle as Columbia.

rocky horror show theatre royal

I have only ever seen men in the role of Narrator, and nobody is likely to come close to the lofty benchmark that Arthur Dignam established with his deep, mellow, enthralling and hypnotic voice. In this production, Myf Warhurst has bravely and ambitiously taken on the role. We all like Myf.

As always, the music will have you going. All of the songs are there: Science Fiction, Damn It, Janet, Sweet Transvestite, I Can Make You a Man, Touch-A-Touch-A-Touch Me, Going Home, and of course, the ever-popular family favourite, The Time Warp.

For those of you who went the The Rocky Horror Picture Show late-night screenings, dressed up as the characters, took rice and water pistols and acted out the scenes, the producers openly invite you to involve yourselves in audience participation.

Rocky Horror Show Sydney


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