Production company the Gordon Fox Organisation said yesterday afternoon that it and McLachlan had “mutually agreed that it is not appropriate for him to continue in the current production of the show”, but added that the Australian tour of The Rocky Horror Show would continue as scheduled.
This morning, a post on the show’s official Facebook page stated that the role of Frank N Furter would be played by Adam Rennie for the remainder of the Adelaide season at the Festival Theatre, which continues until January 13.
McLachlan has denied the allegations of inappropriate behaviour. However, it was revealed this morning that two further people from the 2014 production have now come forward with accusations against him.
Within an hour, the Facebook post about the cast change had attracted more than 200 comments. While some fans expressed support for Rennie, others who have booked tickets to Rocky Horror Show performances in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth said they were disappointed McLachlan was no longer part of the cast and wanted their money back.
“Rocky Horror Show Australia yes I would like my money back i purchased 7 tickets…not interested without Craig,” wrote one, while another said: “… would like a refund for my tickets. The only reason I spent so much money on them was the promise of seeing him perform.”
One Facebook user wrote she had been told there would be no refunds in Adelaide: “I called Consumer Affairs this morning after trying to get a refund and they said I had no claim.”
Asked by InDaily if it had been contacted directly by any patrons seeking refunds and what the policy was, the Adelaide Festival Centre forwarded a statement from ticketing agent BASS, which said it had received “a small number of complaints from patrons who have been informed of the refund policy”.
“After consultation with the Rocky Horror Show producers, BASS will not provide refunds because of the use of an understudy or patron change of mind,” the statement said. “This practice is standard across the ticketing industry and is consistent with the Ticketing Code of Practice published by Live Performance Australia (the governing Industry Body). The code is available at www.liveperformance.com.au.”
As reported yesterday, three cast members of the 2014 run of The Rocky Horror Show – Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi – told a Fairfax Media/ABC investigation that McLachlan inappropriately touched them or exposed himself to them. Victorian police have confirmed they are investigating the claims.
Today, the ABC reported that another woman and a man who worked as part of the crew on the 2014 Rocky Horror Show production had also come forward with accusations of inappropriate behaviour against McLachlan.
McLachlan has described the allegations by Heynatz, Whelan Browne and Scundi as “baseless”.
“They seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he was quoted as writing. “These allegations are ALL made up.”
Scundi claimed the actor kissed her passionately onstage even after she had asked that it not be done. She said when she confronted him about the unwanted kiss, he abused and threatened her.
Whelan Browne alleges that McLachlan indecently assaulted her on stage during a sex scene in the 2014 production, in which he played the transvestite Frank N Furter to her Janet.
This morning, she tweeted:
To those claiming that I did this for money:
A) There are no paid interviews.
B) I have paid my own legal fees
C) I risked never being hired again.
I just don’t understand where you think I’m getting any money?
— Christie Whelan (@Christie_Whelan) January 8, 2018
The Gordon Frost Organisation said it was not aware of the details of the allegations until they were published in the media, adding that it took them “very seriously”.
“We will be conducting a full internal investigation and will cooperate fully with authorities,” the company said in a statement.
“While we clearly cannot comment on the details of this particular case, sexual assault in any form is unacceptable, and we will work diligently within this industry to support the right of all people to be protected in the workplace, and stand by those who are victims of inappropriate behaviour.”
McLachlan is also the lead in the popular television show The Doctor Blake Mysteries, production of which has been temporarily suspended while the allegations against him are investigated.
The Rocky Horror Show is due to finish its Adelaide run on Saturday and then moves to Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne. BASS said all ticketing inquiries should be directed to the agency on 131 246 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.