Production title: Rocky Horror Show
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Cast: Craig Urbani, Didintle Khunou, Anthony Downing, Kate Normington, Kristian Lavercombe, Jarryd Nurden, Marlee Van der Merwe, Stefania du Toit and Zak Hendrikz
Venue: Artscape Opera House until January 12, 2020
Reviewer: Rafiek Mammon
With your permission, may I keep this one short and sweet, please? Instead of writing long paragraphs about each aspect of the show as though I were the expert, let me put it to you in simple terms: I must have seen close to 10 live renditions of this musical, never missing one whenever it is in my vicinity. Add umpteen times of the film version to that list and one almost feels like the Rocky Horror authority. Tut tut. It’s like listening to your favourite song for years and then someone blows you away with a fresh interpretation. That, in a word, pretty much sums up the current version – fresh and hugely entertaining. They dreamed it and now they are being it.
And it’s all the casting. Craig Urbani as Frank is a sublime casting, as is Kate Normington in the role of the narrator. Didintle Khunou is another stroke of genius as Janet. In fact, the leads are superb. What the heck – the entire ensemble is laudable. There, I said it.
So, instead of waxing lyrical – possibly ad nauseum – about the staging and the lighting and the band and the costumes and the all-too-familiar numbers, the only real thing to say is: go see it! Copycat your favourite character and see it (on opening night there were certainly a few Franks, a Brad or two and quite a few Columbias and Magentas). It is truly a spectacle. Or, don’t look like any of the characters and just go, comfortably dressed in jeans and flip flops.
It is hard to believe that this very musical was banned in this country a few decades ago; what with all the talks of aliens, cannibalism, lewdness, indiscriminate sex, hedonism and debauchery – all the things we hold dear nowadays. These are but some of the reasons we see Rocky Horror over and over again. Sometimes we want to refresh our time warp choreography. Other times we want to be ta-ta-ta-ta-touched, or shiver with anticip-p-p-pation; or simply to see the light over at the Frankenstein place. This time, go and see it and give yourself over to absolute pleasure.
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