City to share 70th birthday cake with Richard O'Brien


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14 March 2012

The public are invited to share a slice of birthday cake with one of Hamilton’s most colourful and iconic personalities tomorrow (Thursday, 15 March).

Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O’Brien will be presented with a cake to mark his upcoming 70th birthday by Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker tomorrow at 12.30pm, beside the Riff Raff statue on Victoria Street.

Mayor Hardaker said it is exciting for Hamilton to be able to celebrate this milestone with Mr O’Brien, who has strong ties to the city and has had a significant impact on the local arts and theatre scene.

“I invite everyone to come along to help wish Richard a happy 70th birthday, enjoy a slice of cake and also show our appreciation for his contribution to the arts in Hamilton,” she said.

“I am excited to be able to share this significant milestone with him.”

Born in Britain, Mr O’Brien came to New Zealand with his family in 1952 as a 10-year-old. He lived in Tauranga, before moving to Hamilton once he finished school. His love of horror and similar genres is said to have stemmed from many hours spent watching double feature horror/science fiction films at Hamilton’s Embassy Cinema and he dreamt up the concept for The Rocky Horror Show while working in a barbers shop next door to the cinema.

In 2004 a statue of his Rocky Horror character Riff Raff was erected on the site of the former Embassy Cinema to honour Mr O’Brien and his contributions to the arts.

While Mr O’Brien returned to the UK in the 1960s, his family has continued to live in the country and he has been back to New Zealand regularly since this time, and in December he chose to receive his New Zealand Citizenship at a ceremony in Hamilton.

A one-off event ‘It’s Party Time with Richard O’Brien’ will be held at Hamilton’s Founder’s Theatre this Saturday, 17 March to celebrate his 70th birthday. All proceeds from the concert, which will feature Mr O’Brien’s original music, will go to the Starship Foundation.

Birthday cake with Richard O’Brien
Thursday, 15 March, 12.30-1pm
Riff Raff statue, Victoria Street, Hamilton

​Name: Julie Hardaker​
Designation:​ Hamilton Mayor​
Tel (Direct):​ 07 838 6976​
Email:​ ​
Name: Kylee Boswell​
Designation:​ Communication Executive​
Tel (Direct):​ 07 838 6726​
Mobile:​ 021 816 917​
Page reviewed: 14 Mar 2012 12:00am