Rocky Horror, hubba hubba 88



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Photo: Brian Geach

I’m sure many of you have seen, at some stage in your life, The Rocky Horror Show either on stage or screen, but never would you have seen it like I saw it last night on its opening night in Sydney. Or not yet anyway.

The Rocky Horror Show has toured Australia over the last year, selling out in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, and now it has returned for another season at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, but only until early June. And, having seen it on opening night, I can say with confidence that it is certainly a modern, risqué, entertaining update on the musical that has always been good fun to watch. It was a laugh a minute, full of puns that would make you blush that go right to the heart of today’s culture.


But there is something special about this version, and I have to put it right out there: Craig McLachlan …a big “thumbs up”! McLachlan made the show having been awarded Best Male Actor in a Musical at the 2014 Helpmann Awards for his role in this production last year.

There was no doubting it. And he did so alongside a small, well-chosen cast that balanced nicely around him. Amy Lehpamer played the perfect Janet with the melodrama the role needed, Stephen Mahy made me feel like I was watching an early geeky Guy Pierce with his style as Brad. Then, as you would expect, amid a transvestite show, Bert Newton made it respectable providing the narration, subtext and situation to ground what was at times onstage mayhem. It was a fun combination to watch indeed.

It is hard to be critical of a cast like this, or their performance. McLachlan, the 80s heartthrob from Neighbours fame, is probably in the best shape of his life, as he totters across the stage in heels, fishnets and a bustier with awesome confidence. He knows it too, landing perfectly timed quips with just the right amount of sexual innuendo to make the show even more than you’d expect. His voice was nothing short of sensational, echoing through Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, and the rest of the cast didn’t disappoint either. Riff Raff was played by Kristian Lavercombe and his performance of the Time Warp happened with piercing perfection. Jayde Westaby (Magenta) had some terrific occasions to play off vocally with McLachlan almost taking the roof off.

This is definitely a modern, souped up version of the classic, so if you are easily embarrassed, be prepared in advance. With nothing off limits it seems there will certainly be plenty talk about afterwards. In fact, there was even one section that made both me and my guest blush, I think!


When did you last watch The Rocky Horror Show?




Venue:  Sydney Lyric Theatre, The Star 

Season: From 11 April 2015

Performance Times:  Tues 7pm, Wed–Sat 8pm, Sat matinee 2pm, Sunday 1pm & 5.30pm

Price:  From $69.90*

Bookings: or 1300 795 267 Groups 8+ call 1300 889 278


Venue:  Comedy Theatre, Melbourne 


Performance Times: From 12 June 2015

Season:  Tues 7pm, Wed–Sat 8pm, Sat matinee 2pm, Sunday 1pm & 5.30pm

Price:  From $69.90*

Bookings: or phone 1300 111 011 Groups 8+ call 1300 889 278



Here’s a birds-eye view from last year’s performances, on Youtube!

Photo credit: Brian Geach


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I have always loved the Rocky Horror Show since I first saw it onstage about 40 years ago, with Reg Livermore playing Frank – I am sure this latest version is equally as well played,entertaining, topical and naughty.

    1 REPLY
  2. One of my favourite musicals. And I love Craig McLachlan. I’ve seen it about four or five times. Might just have to go again.

  3. I went to see this with Craig McLachlan in the role in Perth and it was great.

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    • I saw this one too. I had a terrific time with one lady who had never seen it before and a young friend who had threatened to go dressed up but changed her mind at the last minute. What a terrific lighthearted show – a relief from all the murder and mayhem stuff we have to endure on the box!

  4. ‘Hair’ in 1967 was blushworhy as was Gordon Chater in ‘The elocution of Benjamin Franklin’, more so as I lived opposite Gordon.

  5. Oh dear Dr. Blake you’ve been hiding your light under your bushel!!! Love the Rocky show I think Max Phipps was staring in the Melbourne 1975 production by Harry M Miller wonderful. Love to revisit once more. I don’t love musicals anymore but Rockys fun.

  6. Saw this one or two years back with the awesomely talented Reg Livermore and think they may be pushing the envelope a little too far if you feel uncomfortable watching it. So saying Rocky Horror has stood the test of time and new generations keep enjoying it..

  7. Who knew Craig McLaughlin had it in him! What a versatile actor he’s become – I love him as Dr Blake and now as Frankenfurter. Go Craig!

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