The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Rocky Horror Show!

A Sensational Celebration of 50 Years: The Rocky Horror Show Delivers Rock ‘n’ Roll Extravaganza in Melbourne
 

The 50th Anniversary production of the iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll musical, The Rocky Horror Show, has taken Melbourne by storm returning to the Atheneum Theatre and is set to rock audiences until March 23.

Headlining the star-studded cast are Australian superstars Jason Donovan, embodying the magnetic Frank N Furter, and Joel Creasey and Nicholas Hammond, sharing the role of The Narrator. Joining them on stage are an ensemble of incredibly talented performers: the captivating Stellar Perry as Magenta, the charismatic Ellis Dolan as Eddie/Dr Scott, the vivacious Darcey Eagle as Columbia, the charming Blake Bowden as Brad, the enchanting Deirdre Khoo as Janet, the sensational Daniel Erbacher as Rocky, and the captivating Henry Rollo as Riff Raff.

The Rocky Horror Show has firmly established itself as one of theatre’s most endearing and outrageously fun productions. Conceived and written by the brilliant Richard O’Brien, this musical has become a beloved global phenomenon, celebrating an unparalleled 50 years on stage as the only contemporary rock musical to achieve such a milestone. Since its London premiere in 1973 at the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, The Rocky Horror Show has captivated audiences worldwide, etching its place in the annals of musical theatre history. Its cult following was solidified with the release of the 1975 film adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which still holds the record for the longest-running release in film history.

The Rocky Horror Show spins the tale of Brad and Janet, two squeaky-clean college kids who stumble upon Dr. Frank’n’Furter, an eccentric extra-terrestrial scientist from the galaxy of Transylvania, where partying reigns supreme. What unfolds is an unforgettable adventure filled with frivolity, frocks, and frolics, all set to a backdrop of timeless songs and outrageous outfits. From the iconic “Sweet Transvestite” to the infectious “Time Warp,” the show’s classic numbers will have you singing and dancing in your seat.

In this production, the humour shines brilliantly. The outstanding talents of Jason Donovan as Frank N Furter and Joel Creasey/Nicholas Hammond as The Narrator are the backbone of this production’s success. Donovan exudes charisma and seductive charm, fully embracing the role of the iconic mad scientist, while Creasey/Hammond effortlessly guide the audience through the wild and unpredictable journey with her delightful narration. In addition to the stellar performances, the band, with their electrifying renditions of the unforgettable score, deserves a standing ovation. They infuse each song with a vibrant energy that pulses through the theatre, making it impossible to resist tapping your feet and joining in the musical revelry. The set design, thoughtfully adapted for the smaller Atheneum stage, effectively complements the performance, while the costumes dazzle with their fabulousness (though be prepared for some bare legs and chests throughout). The expertly executed lighting design captures the essence of a rock show, setting the mood for the epic performances delivered by the talented cast and band.

At its core, The Rocky Horror Show thrives on audience participation, creating an electric atmosphere that transcends the boundaries of traditional theatre. The quick-witted banter, impromptu exchanges, and playful interactions between the cast and theatregoers create an infectious sense of camaraderie. It’s not uncommon to find yourself laughing alongside fellow audience members as the actors seize opportunities for hilarious adlibs and unexpected surprises. From the moment the lights dim and the first chords of “Science Fiction/Double Feature” reverberate through the air, the audience becomes an integral part of the performance. Enthusiastic fans dress up in elaborate costumes, pay homage to the iconic characters, and shout call-backs at key moments, ensuring that no two shows are ever the same.

With its unapologetic celebration of sexuality, self-expression, and unabashed revelry, The Rocky Horror Show remains as daring and relevant today as it was half a century ago. This new production reinvigorates the beloved musical, capturing its essence while injecting it with fresh energy and a modern sensibility. So, whether you’re a seasoned Rocky Horror enthusiast or a first-time attendee, prepare to be transported into a world where inhibition is left at the door, and unadulterated joy takes centre stage. Let the infectious spirit of The Rocky Horror Show ignite your senses and leave you craving more as it continues to thrill and captivate audiences for years to come.

 

The Details:

  • Playing at The Atheneum Theatre, Collins St. Melbourne until March 23.
  • For more information or to book tickets, check: rockyhorror.com.au
  • Written by Michael Kent
  • Photography by Daniel Boud