We were welcomed to our second row Rocky Horror seats in the Fugard Theatre by an usher beautifully dressed in a candy girl striped dress with a perfectly coiffed bob hairdo identical to her fellow ushers. She was intense. With a torch shining in her face and all the tricks she must have picked up at the 1998 world staring contest, there was no escaping her. I tried to turn the tables on her by chatting excessively about the danger of one’s pores looking humongous with a torch light shining on it. She trumped my by complimenting my stockings in a husky voice. I felt rather duped when I spotted my usher girl on stage a few minutes later. Jenna Robinson Child 1 – Jana 0.
Frank N. Furter (Brendan van Rhyn) is a very big girl. Very big. If religious bigots with picket signs ran into all 1.90m of him wearing a pair of his signature size 11 heels in a dark alley – they’d rather convert to the religion of Transsexual Transylvania than cross the bitch. Scratch that, if they ran into him in a busy street in the middle of the DAY they’ll convert. He is absolutely terrifying. Unless you’re into that kind of thing – then she is a goddess.
The Fugard was packed on the Thursday night making me believe that half of Cape Town fell in the latter category. The place was packed with trannies and the women who loved them. Perfectly straight men were now garlanded in fishnets and corsets. This is probably the only place in town where the staple little black dress is not appropriate, unless you let your man wear it.
It won’t be a terrible generalisation to say that many people know The Rocky Horror Show verbatim. My theory was proven in the middle of Frank N. Furter’s most famous line. He dragged out the “anticipa….” so long that a lady in the back finished it for him (“…tion!”). He dramatically scolded her and finished the line for himself, making the moment even more fabulously memorable. Planted? Maybe, but it’s still a perfect example of how The Fugard Theatre is adding hints of 21st century scandal into this legendary musical.
As a rule I stay away from the merch table at any event, something that looks amazing in the glow of a good show tends to be rather dull in the white light of your house. The Participation Pack does not fall in this category. We foolishly did not buy one because of the above reason. Having the Participation Pack is as vital to your enjoyment of the show as dressing up. The Narrator holds up a sign indicating which item in the pack you can use during the show. Like primary school but with more male corsets.
Usually I prefer sitting no closer than the third row in the theatre because you can’t see the bigger picture. With The Rocky Horror Show I rather enjoyed being up close and personal with the actors, and their bulges (clue: gold undies). If you throw some of the goodies from the participation pack from this point there is a very good chance that it will fall on the stage, throwing confetti on a buffed up boy in gold undies (you’ll also become obsessed, you’ll see) is very satisfying. On the flipside we could not always see all the big dance numbers that fantastically. In August we’re going to see it again, this time from the balcony.
Why are you still reading this! Stop wasting time on this (totally awesome) blog and get time warping!
The Rocky Horror Show is running at the Fugard Theatre on Caledon St from 10 July (no end date is mentioned on the website…)