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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Dracula – The Warren Main House

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Bram Stoker’s tale of the mesmeric Count, with blood on his mind, is a well-trodden theatrical path. There are many dramatic and comedic retellings to live up (as well as down) to; the film Dracula: Dead and Loving it suddenly springs to mind. So, it is with a sense of expectant hush, this reviewer waits to see what the comedy group Let Them Call it Mischief do with the well-loved story.

From the beginning, the audience is treated to bad accents the actors revel in. “I’m back off to generic America”, shouts one character, to great laughter in the house. Van Helsing is particularly off-the-wall, loving portrayed as a 1990s MTV Europe soft rock presenter and Dracula meanders in delivery from Germany to Russia in a charming manner.

In a production consisting of two female and three male performers playing all the roles the best moments happen as the quick changes “go wrong”, telephones continue ringing, although the receivers have been  picked up, and cast members confuse exactly who they are playing or where they are supposed to be on stage. It is a Mel Brookes inspired farce.  There are also some good pastiches as the play unfolds.

The reworking of the story is laboured as we are introduced to Dracula, the feminist, but the performances are both strong and enjoyable.

Runs 6, 7 May 2017 at The Warren Main House  |  Image: Contributed  |  @brightonfringe

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