It’s transgressive, it’s transformative and maybe even a little transmittable - and it’s coming back to town.
For three nights this week, audiences at Johnny’s Social Club will board a one-way space rocket trip to Transsexual Transylvania for a production of the cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Show.
A campy tribute to mid-20th-century schlocky horror and sci-fi movies, the show dives into identity, sexuality and repression.
Each of the cast members have been named, with some familiar faces filling roles they’ve held in the past.
CC Trubiak will once more don the fishnets to play Dr. Frank N. Furter, while Trevor Sytnick will take on the role of Brad Jacobs. A new face will play Rocky Horror, the “creation” of the mad doctor - while Samantha Moore and Bubba Adegboye took on the role in the past, the official identity of the new Rocky has been a tightly guarded secret.
Other new members, both with the cast and the house band, will join this year’s show, including Danny Lyons on bass and Courtney Lycan, Amanda Unrau and Jen Beckingham taking on singing roles.
The production is directed by Noelle Drimmie, who’s been one of the driving forces behind the first two productions of Rocky in Flin Flon. After a one-year hiatus, preparation is well underway for the show.
“The great thing is that the cast is so self-directed. There was a running start for it, almost like riding a bike,” she said.
“Watching the rehearsals, there’s renewed energy, there’s lots of passion - it’s great.”
The atmosphere at the Rocky Horror Show is, like its subject matter and story, unique. Dressing up like the characters is encouraged. One of the traditions when the show is performed live is the “callout” - in essence, prepared audience heckling. Some performances of the show have included plants in the audience to add in the occasional laugh line.
That custom will be brought in for the three Johnny’s shows.
“This is a tradition of watching the movie, but it’s also been incorporated into the live theatre. When Rocky Horror was done at Stratford, they had audience plants who would shout out insults or other things during the show to complement what was happening on stage,” Drimmie said.
“There isn’t just a jerk in the crowd - it’s on purpose.”
When asked what theatre goers with no experience with the Rocky Horror Show or the lore surrounding it could expect, Drimmie quoted one of the mad doctor’s lines -
“Sometimes, a mental mind f*** can be nice.”
“That’s exactly the sentiment that the show has. It’s a fantastical journey through sexuality and breaking the rules and it’s heaps of fun.”