Rocky Horror Show is pure escapism that’s not for the PC brigade (it actually made us blush)

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Rocky Horror Show is pure escapism that’s not for the PC brigade (it actually made us blush)

rocky horror picture show melbourne
Rocky Horror Show - Credit Daniel Boud
Words by Bryget Chrisfield

After a successful first run last year, Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show returns to the Athenaeum and witnessing its delightful mayhem twice within a single year certainly doesn’t suck.

Why not “Give yourselves over to absolute pleasure” – as Frank N Furter famously sings – multiple times?

Speaking of Frank N Furter, Jason Donovan owns this 50th Anniversary production and it’s kind of terrifying how convincingly he pulls off fishnets, platform heels, a leather corset, daggy bobbed brunette wig (more Joan Collins than Rihanna) and OTT makeup. Even still, he does make us feel funny in the pants, which ain’t an easy feat (especially in that get-up).

Rocky Horror Show in Melbourne

  • A review of opening night on Sunday 11 February
  • Playing at the Athenaeum Theatre until March 23
  • Tickets here

Explore Melbourne’s latest arts and stage news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

No stranger to starring in hit musical theatre shows – he played the titular role in London Palladium’s staging of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which enjoyed a record-breaking run in the early ’90s – Donovan completely pulls focus whenever he’s onstage. Vocally, he’s flawless and Donovan’s considered gestures and eye movements would be visible from space. Donovan’s lascivious performance alone is worth the ticket price.

Give yourself over to absolute pleasure with The Rocky Horror Show 50th anniversary production 

Wait, you’re probably dying to know how Joel Creasey is in the Narrator role, right? Well, he was excellent! Callbacks – audience members shouting out responses, scripted or otherwise – have long been a feature of the Rocky Horror Show experience, which makes standup comedians perfectly cast in this role. Creasey also has an adorably subdued dance style, which is in keeping with his persona.

Henry Rollo (who plays Riff Raff) absolutely shone. The precision and clarity of his movements while executing this iconic choreography set the bar super-high. Rollo is one to watch and we look forward to following his career with interest.

Under the musical direction of Daniel Griffin, the brilliant band gets us jiving in our seats throughout – we totally wanna join in!

This thoroughly enjoyable, engaging, lowbrow classic romp is all about pure escapism and not one for the PC brigade. The bedroom scene made us legit blush (yep, even during this scribe’s second viewing); 50 years on and we’re still shocked by this cult-classic musical comedy (and parody of B-movies)! If you do decide to bring your kids along (the recommended age requirement is 12), you’d better be prepared for some interesting convos in the car on the way home.

And with its snappy two-hour duration, including one interval, this rock’n’roll musical is perfect for those among us with increasingly short attention spans. A snack, if you will.

PSA: Punters do jump outta their seats to get involved during the Time Warp so you might wanna brush up on the steps.

Catch Rocky Horror Show at the Athenaeum Theatre until 23 March. Grab tickets here.