“It is incredibly daunting. For me he is the ultimate Riff Raff. When everyone thinks of Riff Raff they think of Richard O’Brien,” said Kristian Lavercombe who reprises the role in the limited run of The Rocky Horror Show at London’s Playhouse Theatre before it’s UK tour. Joining him in the cult classic is none other than the man himself. Richard not only created the phenomenon, but was the original stage and screen Riff Raff. He plays the Narrator during the London run. It’s Kristian’s West End ‘bucket list’ debut, but he’s no stranger to the show. Having appeared in the UK 40th Anniversary.the Australian,Korean, Singapore and New Zealand tours, the ‘professional Riff Raff’ has notched up over 900 performances and will soon become the person who has played in Rocky Horror the most times in it’s 42 year history after the UK Tour finishes in 2017. Playing Frank’n Furter’s sidekick isn’t the only role the versatile New Zealander has performed. Called a ‘vocal genius’ by British critic William I.Connolly, Kristian has covered the full gambit from the Son of God in Jesus Christ Superstar to the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, which I incorporated in my montage.
To quote a line from Riff Raff’s signature tune Time Warp, “Madness takes its toll,’ sometimes best describes the autograph collecting circus. Amongst a large group, mostly waiting for Richard at the stage door, I was able to meet the ‘unknown’ Kristian without having to partake in the ritual scrum. He has been involved in productions in my home town in New Zealand for the Invercargill Musical Theatre Company, including Rocky Horror (not as Riff Raff), so we had some common ground for a brief chat as he signed for me Then ‘with a jump to the left and a step to the right’ he went to prepare for the late matinee.