The Rocky Horror Show is not for the faint-hearted. It's one of those full-on cult shows that grabs the audience by the short and curlies – with party central all the way.
There were as many basques and suspenders in the auditorium as there were on stage – and some outfits were mind boggling in their audacity, not to mention the cold outside!
Since it's inception in 1973 by genius writer Richard O'Brien, people have come not just to watch this musical comedy that parodies science fiction and pornography films, but to party. And the action on stage is more than matched by the repartee of the audience.
Michael Starke as narrator had a pocketful of ready wit to head off banter from loud-mouthed wags who interspersed his narration with rude endings. As the storyteller he was forceful and authoritative, raising his voice to counterpoint the expected interruptions. At one point he said: “If you wanted to take part in the show you should have come to the f-----g rehearsals”, to loud cheers from the audience. And at another: “Capital of Culture my a-se.”
David Bedella as Frank 'N' Furter was dynamic with a beautifully strong singing voice and outrageous sexy acting. His portrayal showed why he won the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Geeky Brad (Mark Evans) and sweet-as-sugar Janet (Haley Flaherty) were also strong as the hapless pair who knocked on the door of Frank's castle after their car broke down, only to be sucked into a weird world of misfits and alien characters. The innocents are soon seduced by the depraved transexual transvestite Frank. Nothing is left to the imagination, even though the main action occurs under the bedsheets.
Magenta (Kara Lane), Columbia (Ceris Hine) and Rocky (Dominic Tribuzio) all put in steamy, sensual, and sexy performances. And Tribuzio excelled in acrobatic contortions, with his Charles Atlas figure and skimpy gold shorts.
This unique show fairly romps along with a pacey direction by Christopher Luscombe, with no weak points, keeping the audience literally on their toes. Especially when they join the cast in the signature Time Warp dance routine, with thighs bulging out of their suspenders – and that's just the men! This is reprised in the finale when the cast were called back for no less than three well-deserved curtain calls.