I’ve been very lucky lately in getting to see some of the most spectacular shows running in Cape Town. Last week, my sister hit the jackpot (figuratively speaking) and won two tickets to the Rocky Horror Show, currently running at The Fugard Theatre. I’d seen the film eons ago and honestly couldn’t remember too much of it, but the theatre show has been receiving such acclaim that I was pretty excited to go check it out.
So off we went to The Fugard Theatre, a lovely little treasure in the heart of Cape Town, an old building – exposed bricks and all – converted into quite the fashionable place. It gives the theatre an air of romance and mystery and untold stories of years gone by. And, for me, that’s exactly what makes a performance space magical (as those of you who have read my piece on ‘Lady Luck’ will recall). We were greeted by costume-clad men, received our tickets and participation packs (more on this in a bit), and settled down in the foyer with some drinks and popcorn, waiting for the doors to open.
The participation packs are Rocky-Horror-Show-themed boxes containing confetti, a newspaper and glow stick, party blowers and a glove, streamers, and cards. For various events during the show, someone on stage would hold out a speech bubble with directions, and everyone in the audience would participate. So, for instance, during the wedding scene, everyone threw confetti, and when Brad and Janet got caught in the storm, everyone covered their heads with the newspapers and held up the glow sticks. And so, at various times, everyone in the audience would hype up a bit and get the next participation item handy – ready for that speech bubble to appear and throw streamers and create a celebrative atmosphere with the party blowers.
And I think that’s what made the show – yes, it’s a fun show to watch, yes, it’s weird and wacky and guaranteed to have you dancing and singing and laughing all night, but it’s the possibility of really being a part of it that makes this production so great. I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed the show without the participation packs, but I would’ve spent all night staring at those lucky people who were excited to create that unique atmosphere and really living up to the Rocky Horror Picture Show standard.
Sometimes we’re too fussy – or shy or conservative or whatever it may be – and we don’t want to get involved or spend the extra money or make fools of ourselves. But what’s a life half-lived? There’s fun in those moments. There’s fun in letting go and being wild and doing the weird and wacky. The Rocky Horror Show really reminded me of this, and I left that night feeling hyped up and excited and happy to be living this life. Turns out the theatre really still is the space where the magic happens … And to experience it for yourself, check out info on the Rocky Horror Show on Twitter @TheFugard.