“Dracula”, written by Daniel Hallissey and Danny Wainwright (who also directed this play) does not shy away from addressing all sorts of uncomfortable subjects: immigrants, women’s rights and gluten intolerance.
In their slapstick approach to Bram Stoker’s classic, Count Dracula is a misunderstood Transylvanian gentleman on the search for his one true (British) love to break the curse that makes him a ‘vampyre’. Harker, who visits for some business, is the Count’s first point of address but he soon finds that the Englishman is too busy cheating on his fiancée Mina to give him advice. Allergic more to gluten than garlic, Dracula leaves for the English coast to search for the one woman that will love him exactly as he is. His entrance to the country does not go unnoticed for long, and soon, the infamous scientist Van Helsing is in hot pursuit of the vampire.
After a well-received run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the comedic update of the gothic horror is now playing at the King’s Head Theatre.
Theatre group Let Them Call it Mischief are known for updating classics in a playful and imaginative fashion, and they can bank in another success with Dracula. The performance of Rob Cummings as undead Transylvanian Count in his quest for love is hilarious from the get-go. Especially in contrast to the English characters, such as wide-eyed but uncontrolled Harker (Anthony Pinnick) and sassy, forward-thinking Lucy (Alyssa Noble). The cast is complete with beautiful Mina (Sarah Bradnum) and all the strangest, most eccentric and accent-heavy supporting characters portrayed by Graham Elwell.
The show is at its best and funniest when it combines the original Gothic Tale with modern satire. Once it leaves the path of the classic and tries to tie up its own loose ends, it loses a bit of its initial spunk. However with just an hour run time, this fast-paced adaptation definitely makes for an entertaining addition to anyone’s night out.
Reviewed by Lisa Theresa Downey-Dent
Photo: Ciaran Dowd
DRACULA plays at the Kings Head Theatre until 26 November 2016