Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
23 Jan 2020
1:08 pm

‘The Rocky Horror Show’: Don’t dream about it, see it

Adriaan Roets

Updated costume designs, bigger and better sets and fishnet stockings galore.

The Rocky Horror Show

It’s a mind flip, that’s for sure. The latest revival of The Rocky Horror Show is nothing short of miraculous, and not because of the superb production, but rather the South African audience that truly evolved with it.

For years The Rocky Horror Show has been a cult favourite, and in 2020 our audiences hit back. As the Narrator, Kate Normington is a force as the mediator between audience commentary and driving the show forward.

In fact, Normington is such a professional that choosing her as one of the rare female narrators is obvious. She’s witty and encompassing and in total control. You can shout whatever at her, and she will knock it back with a wry calm comment. At times the audience in The Teatro was eating out of her hand as she regaled the story of Brad and Janet who were on their way to visit their old friend, Doctor Scott. That’s really what has made this West End production, brought to SA, so good.

The Rocky Horror Show

There’s a lot of new things mixed in with what you know. Rocky Horror is a time-honoured tradition by now, but in 2020 it’s even slicker. Following the American live broadcast of Rocky Horror in 2016, the show had an official sort of update. No longer were the fashion and moves stuck in the ’70s, it heralded a time when productions were allowed to step out of the box and into the 21st century. The latest production sticks with that.

There’s updated costume designs, bigger and better sets and all the fishnet stockings you want. Craig Urbani’s turn as Dr Frank N Furter is also noteworthy. He retains his masculinity, which isn’t easy to do. But you can see why Columbia and Eddie fell head-over-heels for the corseted man with the biggest pearls around. Anthony Downing and Didintle Khunou as Brad and Janet shine. Both roles are actually meant to be reserved, they are purely the fodder to drive the crazy story of the mad scientist forward, yet they both manage to be exceptionally funny and steal each scene they’re in.

A week ago Kristian Lavercombe completed the UK tour of the show, as well as its first turn in Cape Town, which meant he performed over 1 600 times as Riff Raff, a new record for the role. His Riff Raff is delightful. This production will rose-tint your world. From Science Fiction Double Feature to the Time Warp it’s pure liberated celebration. If this is how 2020 kicks off at the Teatro, it’s set for the best shows.


  • The Rocky Horror Show is at The Teatro until 1 March.
  • Performances are Tuesdays to Sundays.
  • Tickets are R100, R150, R250, R350 and R450.


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