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July 22, 2013

The Rocky Horror Show opens at new-look Fugard Theatre in Cape Town

 “Let’s do the Time Warp again!"

Let's Do The Time Warp Again! The legendary Rocky Horror Show has opened at The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town. Photo courtesy of Jesse Kate Kramer

If, like me, you find yourself taking a "jump to the left" then "a step to the right" at inappropriate places and times (like at your desk at work), then you've probably  been breathless with antici...pation for the latest South African production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at The Fugard Theatre in Cape Town! 

This thrilling edition of the infamous musical has been heating up the Mother City’s entertainment scene since opening night, Wednesday 17 July, 2013!

Forty years since its inception in 1973, The Rocky Horror Show, continues to thrill audiences worldwide. We’re consistently riveted by the risqué tale of newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, as they get caught in a storm and seek refuge at the home of a mad transvestite scientist in the process of unveiling his new creation; a muscle man named Rocky Horror.

Dressing up in your most spectacular and outrageous costumes is encouraged at the Rocky Horror Show. Photo courtesy of Fazielah Williams

This Capetonian production however, takes interactive theatre to stratospheric levels. Audiences are encouraged to find their inner Dr Frank-N-Furter by dressing up in their most spectacular costumes. Think participation packs (complete with glow sticks, rubber gloves, newspapers and streamers), sing-alongs to hit show tunes  "Damn it, Janet”, “Going Home” and “Time Warp”and heckling the Narrator and Dr Frank-N-Furter, and all the fun spurred by “phantoms” roaming through the theatre.

Be sure to purchase your participation packs! It has everything you need to be actively involved in the Rocky Horror Show. Photo courtesy of The Fugard Theatre

Casting for a production of Rocky’s fame, with roles made iconic by Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in the 1975 cinematic version, would be daunting for any director but Matthew Wild (The Comedy of Errors, Special Thanks to Guests from Afar) surpasses all expectations. Paul du Toit (Binnelanders and Backstage) is suitably awkward as the lovable nerd Brad. Jenny Stead (The Secret Love Life of Ophelia) manages to transform Janet from virginal fiancée to saucy lover in a way that’s a delight to watch – she really comes into her own during “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me”. Shaun Smit as the chiselled Rocky, Andrew Laubscher as the kooky Riff Raff and former radio personality Adrian Galley as the witty Narrator also deserve special mention.

The Rocky Horror Show leads Jenny Stead as Janet,  Brendan van Rhyn as Frank-N-Furter and Paul du Toit as Brad. Photo courtesy of DIVA PR

The ensemble cast is a dirty pleasure to watch, but it’s Brendan van Rhyn (Mile High with Cathy Specific) as Dr Frank-N-Furter that truly steals the show. Probably best known to local audiences as Cathy Specific in Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams cast, van Ryhn is larger than life as the show’s Sweet Transvestite. Not only does he make me envious of the way he manages to sing, dance and just generally look fabulous in a corset and 6 inch heels, but he manages to convincingly bring Frank-N-Furter’s vulnerability beneath his over-the-top-bravado to the fore, a feat Curry would surely be proud of.

The gorgeous Brendan van Rhyn is utterly captivating and convincing as the irrepressible Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Show at The Fugard Theatre. Photo courtesy of Jesse Kate Kramer

The Fugard Theatre has undergone major renovations in anticipation for the production (including the extension of the main theatre) and it adds to the allure of the show. Tina Driedijk achieves jaw-dropping set production. That coupled with the multimedia mix of video and animation by Anwar McWhite, eye-catching costumes by Penny Simpson, lighting design by Daniel Galloway, graphic design by James Cooke and energetic choreography by Louisa Talbot brings this homage to this B-grade science fiction movie genre parody to life in all of its zany glory.

I’ve sobbed at the pure beauty of The Phantom of the Opera and swooned at the romance of Dirty Dancing but I don’t think I stopped smiling, dancing or singing for one moment while watching the magical Rocky Horror Show. Trust me when I say, you simply MUST SEE this amazing production!

Don't Dream It, Be It...The Rocky Horror Show runs at the Fugard Theatre in District Six until  Sunday 12 January , 2014  and tickets are available at  Computicket.

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