By Danny Wainwright and Daniel Hallissey
The King’s Head, Islington to 26 November
Runs 60m without interval
Review: Tom Aitken 11 11 16
Plenty of laughs, but it doesn’t satisfy
This is a hugely condensed version of Bram Stoker’s novel (albeit, probably significantly, Stoker is not mentioned on the handout programme sheet).
The overriding purpose of the enterprise is to make the audience laugh a great deal.
The performers achieved this almost continuously and anyone who wants to have a good giggle will probably enjoy this, as did the press night audience. And, to be fair, it is advertised as comedy.
I seem to recall that quite a number of plays written in the 40s and 50s of last century were about mysterious holidays taken in remote cottages (on Dartmoor or some other such place) which seemed to be haunted or were run by sinister maniacs. This production, however, does not set out to make its audience scream other than with laughter.
In this aim it is quite successful. Among the targets of the scattergun are (this not a complete list): foreign women working in English hotels with an eye to the main chance of capturing a comfortably off husband; the idea of horror stories and films which make you jump, perhaps even scream; nudity; male reactions to the idea of votes for women, above all, the idea that women may be intelligent…
I quite enjoyed all this but I doubt whether I will remember much about it in a month or two’s time, and in all honesty, I have to say that I was glad that it did not last more than an hour.
But I suspect that the show will improve with each performance. There’s a lot of talent milling about in the acting area and albeit they are providing a succession of funny turns rather than anything which really adds up to a narrative, I’m sure that in later performances it will become more polished and focused.
Alyssa Noble: Lucy
Anthony Pinnick: Harker/Arthur
Graham Elwell: Van Helsing/Renfield
Rob Cummings: Dracula/Seward
Sarah Bradnum: Mina
All other characters played by the cast
Director: Danny Wainwright
Designer: Freyja Costelloe
Lighting: Tom Kitney
Sound: Phillip Matejtschuk