New Zealand says no to Rocky Horror's Riff Raff
Riff Raff has been refused residency in New Zealand, even though the creator of The Rocky Horror Show spent part of his childhood there, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Richard O'Brien, the 68-year-old British-born creator of the cult musical, wanted to retire to New Zealand but was told he did not fit the criteria for citizenship or permanent residency, the Dominion Post said.
O'Brien, who now lives in London, wants to move to the small North Island coastal town of Katikati, where he owns property.
O'Brien came to New Zealand as a 10-year-old when his family emigrated from Britain in 1952 and spent 12 years in the country before moving to London.
He has a brother and sister still living in the town of Tauranga, as did their parents until they died about four years ago and his son Josh is applying for residency after moving to New Zealand on a student visa.
The city of Hamilton, where O'Brien spent his teenage years, has honoured him with a statue of his character from The Rocky Horror Show, the creepy butler Riff Raff.
But according to immigration requirements, to be sponsored by family members for permanent residency in New Zealand O'Brien has to be aged 55 or under and have secured a job offer, criteria which he does not fit.
O'Brien told the newspaper he thought his application should be "rubber stamped" in light of his contribution to New Zealand.
"I don't understand -- they build a statue of me and celebrate me as a New Zealander, but I have to go on my knees and do all sorts of things, and I'm probably too old."
O'Brien has often spoken in interviews about having grown up in New Zealand and the influence it has had on his life and work. Some of the songs from Rocky Horror -- later adapted under the name The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- were inspired by incidents in his youth.
© 2010 AFP