McLachlan kissed alleged victim on-stage

Craig McLachlan (right) is charged with indecent assault and other assault charges .
Craig McLachlan (right) is charged with indecent assault and other assault charges .

A woman who complained about a lingering on-stage kiss with actor Craig McLachlan decided to do something about it years later, a court has been told.

The Gold-Logie winner is facing 16 counts of indecent assault, attempted indecent assault and other charges that coincide with a run of the Rocky Horror Show.

McLachlan argues the allegations - which include pressing his penis against a woman's back, kissing women without consent, running his hand between a woman's leg and straddling a woman's lap - either didn't happen or were not indecent.

Actor Brendan Irving said the woman told him about an on-stage kiss with McLachlan after an earlier production of the show.

"She told me that there had been an incident on stage where she felt like he lingered on a kiss for too long," Irving told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The woman was "quite aggressive" after failing to get a role in a later run of the musical, Irving said.

"She was adamant she was going to finally do something (about the earlier incident)," he said.

The alleged victim confronted McLachlan after the kiss and he threatened her, Irving said.

"He (McLachlan) turned around and said something along the lines of 'pull yourself together, who do you think you're talking to, I can make sure you can never work again'."

But while the woman "pondered" taking formal against McLachlan she decided against it.

When questioned about whether Irving ever saw McLachlan put his tongue in the actress' mouth, he denied it.

"Absolutely not," said the actor, who was on-stage during the alleged incident.

During the contested hearing the court was told there were staged kisses between characters but McLachlan had permission to "ad lib".

The show's director Christopher Luscombe said while he didn't plan for a kiss in the scene, it wouldn't be unheard of.

"As long as it was in keeping with the spirit of the scene," he said via video link from South Africa.

He said during rehearsals he urged actors to speak up if they were uncomfortable and he would have acted "immediately" if there were issues.

Australian-based resident director Leah Howard earlier told the court she forced McLachlan to apologise after an on-stage incident involving another woman.

The actress complained to Ms Howard the actor "grabbed my face hard out there".

"I just recall just telling him that he had to apologise and that she was scared," Ms Howard said.

The director said McLachlan agreed to apologise and said it was because of "frustration" over wardrobe and sound issues.

McLachlan is accused of inappropriately touching the same actress while they were in a scene together as he was concealed from the audience.

The four women involved in the case cannot be named and gave their evidence in a closed court.

McLachlan became a household name for roles in the Australian soap operas Neighbours, and Home and Away.

The actor launched defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media, the ABC and a former co-star in 2018, but that case has been delayed until after the criminal charges are dealt with.

Australian Associated Press