Fun in the Dark
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Sydney is currently hosting its second season of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the cult audience participation format. The first season ran at the Hoyts Entertainment Centre (which is the current venue as well) from 1979 until 1984 - a five year season. The current season began way back on the 26th of May in 1989. There are two references to RHPS in Sydney in the book 'Creatures of the Night' Volume One: the first is a photo of some of the '79-'84 cast in Shock Treatment costume and the second is a picture of a handbill promoting the imminent beginning of the second season.
Rocky was started up again at the request of the theatre management, who called the last coordinator (John Gaspar) and asked him to gather a new cast together. This was done and the cast performed without a name for a number of years. Craig Walker picked up the reins of coordinator sometime around 1990 and steered our cast through a few anniversaries and even gained us some commercial work in some shows on the nightclub circuit when a big 1970's wave hit Sydney.
Around about 1992 some new blood entered Rocky, in full gothic glory! We had an influx of gothic cast amongst whom was Sharon (Mommy Duck) Hedley. Sharon quickly showed her skills by organizing anniversaries from here on in. Sharon and Craig officially shared the role of coordinator officially in 1994. Craig however began to take a less hands-on approach to the show. He finally retired to the back row in 1995 when Sharon officially became our coordinator.
Meanwhile Rocky had continued and flourished under Sharon's hand. One of the changes Sharon brought was a name for our cast. Friday Insanity was born late in 1993 as she was beginning preparations for the 1994 anniversary. This was to prove a prophetic name as we recognized Midnight Insanity of L.A. as our sister cast in 1995.
In October 1995 the show was given an R rating by Hoyts, so we had a change in our audience. It seemed to be going well at that time, but you had to be 18 to see the show. Thankfully the rating is moving back to MA (as of April 1998) so it is possible for the under age to see the show again.
This year is the Sydney cast's 10th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of RHPS AP style in Sydney (there was a show that ran from 1979 to about 1984.) As an added bonus, the cast will be marching (for the 4th year running) in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade - which happened February 27th. This parade attracts a crowd of over half a million people! This is a very big event for the cast considering it is Australia's largest single even. In fact, well known throughout the world.