The Rocky Horror Show

15 Apr

With a production like this, if you write it up well, you get to see your words on the side of a bus.

The night is certainly a bit of fun; right down to the venue’s playfully ironic name. (The Lyric Theatre – where I heard about 30% of the words.)

I was in row U. In most other theatres I would have been in another theatre. (Row U is ‘Just a step to the left, and then 4000 steps to the ba-a-a-a-ack!’  Ok, I didn’t need to hear the lyrics. Many of us know them by heart.)

First produced in 1973, the question is ‘Does the show survive the test of time?’ (From where I was sitting, it struggled with the test of distance.)

Photo by Brian Geach

Photo by Brian Geach

I suspect the element of The Rocky Horror Show that’s a tribute to B grade horror and sci-fi films is lost on contemporary audiences. The show has become a cultural icon for other reasons.  It’s a paean to sensual pleasure, in all its diverse forms. It’s an adult pantomime. (The audience particularly appreciated Craig McLachlan’s constant breaking of the fourth wall.)

The show is the sort of silly mayhem that is our culture’s punishment for having at various times endorsed Puritan prudery and Victorian propriety.  (And, perhaps, it’s a mischievous reminder that we’re being too tardy on marriage equality.)

The show didn’t float my boat. (A phrase which Frank N Furter might repeat back at me, raising his eyebrows and pushing the double entendre, unnecessarily.)

But as Frankie says, when Janet is unimpressed with Rocky, “Well, I didn’t make him for you!”

Judging by the audience’s response last night, there were plenty of people it was made for.

Veronica Kaye

The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien

Sydney Lyric Theatre til 7th June

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