Known for his illustrious dance career and stint on Australia’s Dancing with the Stars, film and television veteran Todd McKenney will play the lead role of Frank ‘N’ Furter in the upcoming Melbourne season of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The first show with McKenney in the role will take place at Her Majesty’s Theatre from July 13.
McKenney is already thrilled at playing the “sweet transvestite” calling it a dream come true in a statement.
“I have dreamt of playing this role ever since I first saw the stage show in Perth in the 80’s, it is one of those rare beauties that gives an actor the opportunity to put their personal stamp on one of the most fun characters in musical theatre. I’ve been offered the role in the past but the timing has never been right so now I finally get to live out my dream, I can’t wait to get my corset, pearls, fishnets and high heels on to give Melbourne audiences the night of their lives.” McKenney said.
Shane Jacobson will also be joining the cast perform the role of the narrator, a Rocky Horror Picture Show role reserved for major stars around the world. In a statement, Shane said he was honoured to be offered the role: “I am thrilled to be involved in one of the most iconic productions in musical theatre history”.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s new appointments of Mckenny and Jacobsen have come after the former star of the show, Craig McLachlan, stepped out of the role due to allegations of sexual assault on set.
In January this year, an exclusive investigation by the ABC and Fairfax accused the star of sexual assault and harassment. The report contained damning accusations from two Rocky Horror Picture Show actresses that worked with McLachlan. The report alleged he indecently assaulted the women, sexually harassed them, intimidated and bullied them. All, while he starred as Dr Frank-N-Furter in the play.
Shortly after, McLachlan was accused of similar behaviour on the Doctor Blake Mysteries set. Throughout the scandal McLachlan has maintained his innocence telling the ABC via email: “Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety. In either event, they are to the best of my knowledge utterly and entirely false.”
In February, he was cleared of any wrongdoing on the Doctor Blake and is now according to the Daily Telegraph, suing the media outlets that published the first allegations – which he claims have destroyed his career.
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