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Rocky Horror Hamilton- It's a Hit!

27 Feb 2004

COME ON Jocelyn, pull those fishnet stockings out of your top drawer and follow the instructions of your Rocky Horror fans, writes Susan Pepperell. They are trained in all dance emergencies and know what to do...


Okay. It's just a jump to the left, And then a step to the right.

Put your hands on your hips. Bring your knees in tight.

On second thoughts Jocelyn, aka Councillor Marshall, take the instructions to the next council meeting and make them all do it... It's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insa-a-a-a-a-ane.

Oh the depravity, the shocking lack of public standards, the corruption of youth, and as you so rightly point out, the bad make-up. And it's a cult, Jocelyn. We all know how dangerous they are.

It's just a jump to the left.

How deliciously, typically, hideously Hamilton for the council to have been scrapping over whether to put up a statue of Riff Raff in the main street. Unseemly displays over public sculptures are generally compulsory. That's because people may not know much about art, but they know what they like and it's never what someone else suggests.

But this should have been a given. Firstly Richard O'Brien, the creator of the Rocky Horror Show, grew up in Hamilton and played Riff Raff the butler. Secondly, the Rocky Horror Show is one of the world's most successful and enduring musicals that is now over 30 years old and still rollicking good fun. And thirdly and most tellingly, we have precious few famous Hamiltonians to venerate in such a fashion.

No, the problem here is that Riff Raff is a... TRANSVESTITE.

Let's do the time warp all right.

Actually, full marks to Jocelyn for at least saying what she thinks. There are other councillors hiding under their agendas, too scared to speak.

Jocelyn hates the Rocky Horror Show. She associates it with former Prime Minister Rob Muldoon. We all do. She has a point. As the show's narrator in a notorious Auckland production he was abominable. Still as prime minister he had worse failings, and we can all be supremely grateful we never saw him in black fishnets.

I love the Rocky Horror Show. A long, long time ago in my student days when I was a rebel with a small r, my flatmates and I dressed up as the characters and went along to the movie to throw rice and toast at the screen. That kind of thing was actively encouraged 20 years ago and look where it's got us. Transvestite statues in the street, that's where. It's all my fault, I see that now.

I must join the protest movement immediately. We will gather nightly in Garden Place wearing twin suits and pearls and sing along to Jocelyn's hymns for which she is famous. Ever thought about turning them into a musical Jocelyn? In years to come we could have a statue of you. You could pass the time of day giving Riff Raff make-up tips.

"Statue, Jocelyn?" he might say.

"Please be quiet. I don't talk to riff raff."

You've made some good points, Jocelyn. We may get people from all over the world coming to look at the Riff Raff statue but, like you said, we definitely don't want their kind here. They're likely to be the type that wear bright clothes and loiter about laughing and enjoying themselves. Exhibitionists.

Can't have that. I'm with you Jocelyn, you can count on me. I know you think people are frightened they will be regarded as a fuddy-duddy if they say no and that you are not frightened. Fuddy-duddies unite, I say. Oh that's right you have –- you're all on the council together.

Anyway now it's a done deal, we must, simply must, coincide the statue unveiling with a production of the Rocky Horror Show, right here in Hamilton city.

I am volunteering to do the casting. I would like to see Mayor David Braithwaite in the role Sir Robert made famous. Former Mayor Margaret Evans would be great as Columbia as she's already got the red hair, and Jocelyn you would make a fabulous Janet. Especially teamed with Roger Hennebry as Brad.

If Richard can't come back to reprise his role, Jody Garrett will have to take it on. He has musical experience. Some would say he is Riff Raff.

Pippa Mahood and John Gower would be in charge of publicity and selling programmes and Grant Thomas can sell ice creams at half time.

We could call ourselves Rocky Horror Hamilton which would kind of be like Middle Earth, only with better costumes.

The more I think about it, the more potential I see. Many's the time I'd have liked to throw things at councillors and this would provide the perfect opportunity without being arrested.

Come on Jocelyn, put your hands on your hips...

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The Richard O'Brien Crusade est. 1996