The Fugard nails it with pulsing ‘Rocky Horror Show’

The Fugard nails it with pulsing ‘Rocky Horror Show’

SHOW: THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
DIRECTOR: MATTHEW WILD
CAST: PAUL DU TOIT, JENNY STEAD, BRENDAN VAN RHYN, ANDREW LAUBSCHER, DANEEL VAN DER WALT, DOMINQUE MAHER, PIERRE VAN HEERDEN, ADRIAN GALLEY, SHAUN SMIT, LUCY TOPS
VENUE: THE FUGARD THEATRE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 29
REVIEW: PETER TROMP

‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is one of those movies that if you aren’t responsible in your appreciation thereof, can become tattooed on one’s brain. I did not practice restraint in my appreciation of the cult cinema classic (which is to say I watched it a heck of a lot), and therefore any ‘Rocky Horror Show’ that I see almost inadvertently gets measured against the movie.
Even if you’re afflicted with the particular mindset, the Fugard Theatre’s production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ proves itself to be a winner. With its inventive set, electrifying live band and gung-ho cast, the show is an unadulterated hoot.
Antici…pation has been building for this production for months now after it was announced, and luckily director Matthew Wild and his co-horts, which include a whole coterie of top notch behind the scenes folks, do not disappoint.

Right from the off the mood feels right: debauched, cheeky and just a little dangerous, as if proceedings could fly off the handle at a moment’s notice.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a ‘Rocky Horror’ production in this city. The last one I saw was staged at Ratanga Junction (of all places) and actually starred Paul du Toit, who plays straight-laced Brad in this production, as sweet transvestite Dr. Frank-’n-Furter. The actor was perfectly fine and memorable in that role, but he didn’t quite have the impact that Brendan Van Rhyn has here.

Literally towering over everyone by at least a foot, you would hope that someone that impossible to miss on stage would be good in the absolutely pivotal role, and the actor most certainly is. Bringing unmistakable gravitas, but also the necessary, audience winking camp to the role, Van Thyn propels this show to dizzy heights whenever he is on stage.
Other standouts include Andrew Laubscher as Riff Raff, who somehow manages to carve something unique out of the character for himself; and Dominique Maher as Columbia, who is so irresistibly zany and unhinged that she manages to make one forget almost completely about Nell Campbell in the movie.

There are some miscastings as well, with Daneel Van Der Walt not popping with the requisite snark to make her Magenta really pop; and Shaun Smit as Rocky, who’s perfectly serviceable as eye candy, but doesn’t offer much more than that.
People have been going all out in dressing up for the show, and their enthusiasm has been rewarded in full with a pulsing show that is sure to have local theatregoers buzzing for weeks.

* Book at Computicket.