Rocky Horror Show has been going for over forty years. It started out in 1973. In 1976 I saw the movie four times before it was banned in South Africa – I was not surprised that it was banned, the show is very risque even forty years later and South Africa was extremely conservative back then. I listened to the (vinyl) record over and over. I loved it. It was alternative in a way that attracted the non-alternative crowd with whom I hung out as well as those with whom I had nothing else in common.
Over the years I have seen countless productions of Rocky Horror and loved every single one of them. I love the slightly naughty vibe, the rampant energy, the audience dressing up, and the audience participating in time honoured ways in the show.
Last night I saw yet another production of Rocky Horror, this time at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre. I loved it again. There were a plethora of cross dressing (and real women) usherettes. The audience were encouraged to buy audience participation packs at R30 which consisted of various things, but excluded a water pistol for raining on the heads of those who failed to buy the participation kit. These kits inhibited the usual audience participation points such as the name “Janet” being followed by the word “Slut!” called out from the audience. Actually, there’s a whole complex script because if one says “Slut” before she’s a slut then there’s a response to that and another response to that response. The name “Brad” gets “Asshole” attached to it. The Narrator also gets heckled. This is not a cult thing for nothing.
Frank N Furter is played by Brendan van Rhyn. I have seen him in this role in another production and was surprised to see how differently he plays the same role for a different director. His height, even without the very high heels, makes him imposing enough, but it is his voice which gives real credibility to the role. Rich, raunchy and clear as a bell. I wish the same could have been said for all the others. My partner for the evening was a “Rocky Horror Virgin” and didn’t catch a lot of the lines. It was my only gripe of the evening. Brendan van Rhyn is inclined to make retorts back at heckling members of the audience. This is part of his persona now, and many of them are now part of the show. An example is that famous antici ….. pation moment. If anyone pre-empts, and someone always does, he or she is told “Wait, Fucker!”
The stage at the Pieter Toerien Theatre is quite small, but the production worked extremely well on the stage nevertheless, with imaginative use of different levels and projections. All in all this is a magnificent production of a magnificent musical. I had a fabulous time.
There is not much point in telling you about the forthcoming performances and booking details because it is, I think, completely sold out except for a few single seats. However, performances run on Tuesday to Fridays at 8pm, on Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 6pm. Tickets range in price from R100 to R350 and are available through computicket.com or at the theatre box office (011-511-1818).