Review Scene:  Rocky Horror Show, Melbourne Athenaeum Theatre, 24th May 2023 by Karen Dean

The 50th anniversary celebration of the Rocky Horror Show in Melbourne brought audiences out in force.  It was a night that will be remembered as a testament to the enduring power of this cult classic. From start to finish, the production delivered an exhilarating experience, delighting fans old and new.

The show opened with Stella Perry’s rendition of “Science Fiction,” immediately setting the tone for the wild ride that was about to unfold. The introduction of Deirdre Khoo and Ethan Jones as the newly engaged Janet and Brad added a touch of sweet naivety to the story, as they innocently stumbled upon the castle of the enigmatic mad scientist.

But it was Jason Donovan who truly stole the spotlight as Frank N Furter, the transvestite scientist exuding energy and sexual allure. From the moment he made his grand entrance, Donovan held the audience in the palm of his hand. His performance was a masterclass in captivating stage presence, as he commanded the spotlight with unwavering charisma throughout the entire show. The dynamic lighting effects, provocative costumes, and exquisite makeup further enhanced his magnetic performance.

The supporting cast proved to be the perfect complement to Donovan’s showmanship. Henry Rollo shone as Frank’s loyal deputy Riff Raff, while Stella Perry portrayed the seductive Magenta with an intoxicating allure. Not to be forgotten, the portrayal of Rocky, Frank’s muscle-bound creation, added a touch of physical prowess to the proceedings.

Myf Warhurst, as the The Narrator, effortlessly engaged with the audience, exuding a sense of ease and familiarity in her role. Her presence added an extra layer of enjoyment, making the audience feel like active participants in the unfolding spectacle.

Throughout the production, the performances remained first-rate, leaving no room for disappointment. The energy radiating from the stage was infectious, with the crowd responding enthusiastically and becoming an integral part of the experience through their enthusiastic participation.

This Melbourne production of the Rocky Horror Show proved to be triumphant. It showcased the enduring appeal of this timeless classic, with its unforgettable characters and catchy musical numbers. The production was a testament to the dedication and talent of the performers, who brought their A-game to the stage, ensuring an evening filled with pure entertainment and enjoyment for all in attendance.

If you were fortunate enough to be part of this unforgettable night, it’s safe to say that the memories will linger, keeping the spirit of Rocky Horror alive for another 50 years and beyond.

Season Details:

Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne

Until 30 July, 2023

Tickets and information from www.rockyhorror.com.au

@rockyhorroraus