McLachlan as a flexing Frank N Furter with Christie Whelan Browne and Tim Maddren.
McLachlan as a flexing Frank N Furter with Christie Whelan Browne and Tim Maddren. Jeff Busby

Craig McLachlan a hit as he does the Time Warp again

IT'S hard to believe Rocky Horror Show is 40 years old.

The sci-fi musical's timelessness is a testament to its creator Richard O'Brien, who received a standing ovation alongside Craig McLachlan at the show's debut in Brisbane last night.

It was also hard to believe O'Brien is 71 as he danced the Time Warp alongside the cast on stage.

"You're most right to give a roar of approval, they're (expletive) great aren't they?," he said to the audience.

Richard O'Brien with Craig McLachlan and Brendan Irving.
Richard O'Brien with Craig McLachlan and Brendan Irving. Shane O'Connor

McLachlan first starred in the show 20 years ago and was telling media in the lead-up to the show's premiere all about his efforts to get into shape for the skimpy costumes.

The 48-year-old certainly cut a buff figure in his first scene, dropping a long black cape to the floor with dramatic effect.

McLachlan is absolutely fabulous as the mad alien scientist Frank N Furter.

He's cheeky, pauses to have a laugh with the audience and owns the stage whenever he's on it.

But all the glitter, fishnets and corsets aside, at the heart of this show is its music.

"You people made tonight an unforgettable night," McLachlan told the crowd at the show's after party.

"We have had the time of our lives as you know.

"If I wasn't trying to keep it clean I'd tell you all about it. To revisit it after all these years is extraordinary."

Front and centre in the spotlight - McLachlan as Frank N Furter.
Front and centre in the spotlight - McLachlan as Frank N Furter. Jeff Busby

Rocky Horror Show is a true rock 'n' roll musical and it's impossible not to dance in your seat to the catching, fast-paced score performed by the live band.

It's pure unadulterated (but very adult) fun.

A 20-something in the lobby told me it was her first Rocky Horror experience. She'd never seen the movie or the musical. I'd argue it's as edgy and provocative now to Gen Y as it was when it debuted in 1973.

For me, it was my first time seeing Craig McLachlan on stage, rather than in TV shows.

His voice is powerful, particularly when he hits the low notes, and he oozes sex and charm - perfect combination for Frank N Furter.

Kudos to the rest of the cast, who all get their moments to shine. Christie Whelan Browne and Tim Maddren are delightful as Brad and Janet.

Then there's Kristian Lavercombe playing Riff Raff in front of the show's creator O'Brien, who himself played the character in the hit 1975 movie.

And to top it all off the show had its debut here in Queensland.

Rocky Horror show plays QPAC's Lyric Theatre through February 9.



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