Writer/Director: Nick Walker
Reviewer: Nicole Evans
While the little ones are away, the vampires will play and play they do in The Belgrade Theatre’s, now somewhat traditional, offering of their alternative adult Christmas show. This year brings Vampomime, telling the spooky tale of an inhuman theatre group in the form of three vampires who are on a quest to become human, problem being, to do so, actual human tears are required.
The scene begins to be set as we pick up our tickets and are handed health and safety guidance, some vampire blood and some holy water… just in case. As we enter the auditorium we are advised we made a mistake not having garlic bread for dinner and the sounds of metal-style Christmas tunes rock out around us – which is about as festive as the show will get. It’s all looking good so far and the vampire theme is more than apparent.
As we meet three of the four characters, after inviting them to come in (it’s a ritual), the basis of the story unfolds. The vampires need a human to cry on them in order to achieve their goal of becoming a human theatre company again, who better to help them than Denise, a welsh actress who is renowned for crying in every major tragedy (and doesn’t need inviting on stage…much to the vampires’ horror). Will Beauty fall for the Beast? Or will it all be a crying disaster?
Played by Miriam Grace Edwards, Denise is a charming young, ahem, ‘virgin’ who attended a convent school and has somehow been roped in to play Bella in the vamps’ panto Beauty and the Beast. Edwards’ is the perfect fit for the rôle and perfects the balance between charming, sassy and slightly sarcastic while convincing us she is genuinely scared at times and adding banter in to boot.
Her rival – vampire hotty Karen (Katy Stephens) is quick to judge her and wastes no time trying to out-sass and Stephens oozes sex appeal and, even with a slightly dodgy German accent, her slick and sultry performance could charm the fangs off any body. Graeme Rose impresses as lead vamp Alan and has spectacular expressions throughout and Jack Trow, as Vladimir, although not as strong as the others, does well with a little audience participation and throws in most of the truly awful local jokes.
Vampomime really is the ultimate budget studio show, with gags so awful you have no choice but to laugh as you groan, but as a pre-Christmas night out to forget your stresses, it ticks every box.
Well worth a bite, just don’t forget your wooden stake.
Running until 2 January 2016 | Image: Nicola Young