Come on down to the lab …

ImageNever mind the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s crazy cult-feeder of a storyline (Frank-N-furter, eccentric transvestite, cooks up perfect man in lab) I have a crazier one for you: Matthew Wild, director, has stewed up the whole cast for this show at Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre.

Art imitates art…

Frank-N-furter (Brendan van Rhyn) is just too perfect not to raise suspicions. He is quite the looker, very large and manly while being outrageously camp. He is just so big and juicy, he looks like he has been pumped and polished up on a slab. I doubt anyone would question me if I said those knickers of his had definitely been enhanced!

In an effort to avoid the appropriate – if a little time-consuming and probably risky – process of cooking up a proper cast, earlier productions of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, including a 20th Century Fox movie, have resorted to paying big bucks for stars who almost fit the bill.

Meat Loaf played Eddie (an earlier version of the perfect man) in the original LA run, which no doubt helped to get the bums of big hitters (including Elvis Presley) into seats. Meat Loaf is admittedly almost as good as you can get for the role of Eddie on the part-used rock star circuit. He also played Eddie in the movie, alongside Susan Sarandon’s Janet.

ImageMusicians from Procol Harum (A Whiter Shade of Pale) were roped in to pack some punch into the soundtrack.  I could go on describing alternatives to taking the time to go down to the lab and create the cast from scratch, but I won’t bore you.

Our readers will know where Call Off The Search stands on this sort of corner-cutting.

Back to the Fugard, where every single character, from Frank-N-Furter to his staff of lovably bonkers nut jobs to the perfect American nerds, Brad and Janet, is perfect.

ImageRocky is one character that Wild could have scrimped on in Cape Town. Buff, singing, dancing, blonde Mummy’s boys are in good supply in the De Waterkant area of the Mother City, but clearly no time or money was spared in cooking up this cutie either. He has clearly been “made for purpose”, like all the others.

Suffice to say that the extra 9 yards that Matthew Wild and his team have gone to have each and every character custom-made for this run at the Fugard pays off. We can only hope for the sake of the thousands of dedicated Rocky Horror fans around the world that this production has set a new standard and that there will no cutting corners again.

ImageThe Rocky Horror Picture Show sells out night after night, week after week at the Fugard (in a city of notoriously lethargic theatre-bookers). Don’t be disappointed!

Booking at Computicket. Also, make sure that at least one person in your party buys a Participation Box of streamers, rubber gloves, hooters, confetti and etc. It costs just R20 and will definitely change your experience.

PS Those weren’t the days!

In the bad old days (long before lecherous presidents building copycat Playboy Mansions), the film, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, was banned by South Africa’s apartheid government. One can only guess that the camp outrageousness was too playful for the morally corrupt old finger-waggers.

Siobhan Cassidy

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