Award winning performer Nick Christo joins a corset-clad cast, as madness takes its toll for the 40th anniversary of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. Time is fleeting in the week ahead of the maiden performance, as he caught up for a chat with us about how a boy from Western Australia came to join the cast of the mischievous musical that inspired him in his youth.
“It’s pretty special to be included in the Rocky Horror club. Because the productions come along so rarely, I didn’t think it would ever happen, so I’m beyond thrilled.”
Christo describes the show as a blend between theatre, film and a strange ‘religious experience’, with its universal themes of embracing the self, ensuring its undying popularity. No virgin to the world’s favourite rock n’ roll musical, he was also in the original production that toured Australia in 2014. More recently, you may recognise him as Dr Baxter on the Nine Network’s Love Child.
Despite being a long time Rocky fan, he was somewhat surprised with the role he ended up in.
“Ever since I was ten (years old) I’ve been obsessed with this show. This role was one that I never even contemplated playing – its like discovering a ballroom underneath your house that has been there for the whole time.”
He is referring to the part of the post-lobotomy bad-boy biker Eddie, who he inhibits for the first half of the show, before jumping into the wheelchair of Eddie’s much more senior uncle Dr Scott in the second act.
“The makeup and hair in both cases is ridiculous, so that helps a lot,” he says, referring to how he handles the switch between characters. “Because they’re from the same family… There’s a link already between them and I think they sort of reference one another really easily for me, so it’s not too much of a jarring jump.”
The bigger boots to fill are undoubtedly Eddie’s, with the role portrayed by the iconic Meat Loaf in the 1975 film and even taken up by a young Russel Crowe in the 90s.
Having Bert Newton on the cast as The Narrator, has been another pleasure for Christo. “He brings an incredible joy into the rehearsal room; it’s lovely to work with.” As for the biggest perpetrator of on and off-stage mischief, it doesn’t take long for him to single out the man stepping into the fishnet stockings of sweet transvestite Dr Frank N Furter. “Craig (McLachlan) is the naughtiest.”
From April 10. The Sydney Lyric Theatre. Tickets $79.90 – $149.90.