WAAPA graduate Adam Rennie making Frank N Furter his own after Craig McLachlan departure

Adam Rennie as Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show.
Adam Rennie.
Adam Rennie as Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. Adam Rennie.

NEW meaning has been given to the word “overwhelming” for music theatre performer Adam Rennie.

The Sydney-raised, 2008 WAAPA graduate and now New York-based Rennie was thrust into the spotlight after Craig McLachlan’s untimely departure from the Australian production of The Rocky Horror Show following sexual misconduct allegations.

“Originally I was playing Eddie/Dr Scott but I was contracted to cover Frank N Furter, so through the rehearsal period I was sitting in the corner, jotting down lots of notes and imagining what kind of performance I would give if I had the opportunity to get up and do it,” Rennie said.

“I was never sure I would get that opportunity. I love Frank and think he is such a dream of a creative experience for an actor.

“So even if no one ever got to see him, I was going to put as much energy into that as I could.”

When news broke during the final week of the Adelaide season that McLachlan was no longer in the production, Rennie and the rest of the cast learnt the true meaning of “the show must go on”.

“I was feeling all the emotions at one time,” he said.

“There’s a big difference between living with it in your imagination and then to stand on that stage and have 2000 people watching essentially for that first full run through.

“I was surprisingly calm and I think mainly that came from knowing I’d done the work and I also knew that every single person who showed up to put that show on was with me.

“I felt so supported and trusted by all the creative team.”

Rennie said he had no idea how the audience was going to respond to his first performance as Frank N Furter but he need not have worried.

“It was such a huge story but the second those doors swung open and I started singing Sweet Transvestite, I’ve never heard anything like it,” he said.

“The screaming was so loud and I realised they were just all there to have a good time.

Rocky Horror is an iconic show and the reason it’s been around this long is because it’s a great, fun, rock and roll musical. I could give them that; I could give them Frank.

“As all the dust has settled, now I feel proud of everyone who is putting the show on because we’ve pulled together to tell the story and audiences are right there with us.”

The Rocky Horror Show is in Brisbane before its season at Crown Theatre Perth from February 17 which will be Rennie’s first trip back to Perth since graduation.

“I’m excited to come back and it’s going to be one hell of a way to do it,” he said.

“This is my first production of The Rocky Horror Show so it’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve always loved the movie since I saw it when I was a kid and knew I’d play Frank N Furter one day. I just didn’t expect it to be quite so soon.”

Community News has 10 double passes to give away to The Rocky Horror Show at Crown Theatre Perth on Saturday, February 17 at 2pm. Enter here by 10am, Friday, February 9.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Rocky Horror Show

Where: Crown Theatre Perth

When: From February 21

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au