Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

4 August 2014

South Africa: Not Lost in Time, Space or Meaning - the Rocky Horror Show, 40 Years Later

analysis

About 40 years ago a handful of lucky South Africans managed to catch a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show just before the authorities banned it in the country. Back then, in Apartheid South Africa, the film was hugely transgressive. But does it still have meaning in the 21st century? MARIANNE THAMM took her children to see the stage production at the Fugard Theatre.

Conversation between a mom and her 11-year-old daughter in the car on the way home from the show on a Sunday afternoon (don't worry, we closed her eyes during the sex scenes):

"Mom, what's the Rocky Horror Show about?"

"Well, it's about a heteronormative couple, Brad and Janet, who are engaged to be married and who suddenly find themselves and their worldview challenged when they have a flat tyre in the rain and go in search of help. They end up somewhere where fantasy challenges their reality. It's a bit carnivalesque, you could say. A neutral space where anything is permitted."

"Huh?"

"A couple gets lost and then they learn something about themselves, others and difference when they arrive at a really cool dress up party."

"Oh, I see. But why are there aliens there?" ...

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