The FITZROVIA RADIO HOUR’s DRACULA
by Tom Mallaburn, Phil Mulryne, Jon Edgley Bond & Cal McCrystal
Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT to 16 November 2014
Tues- Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm and 4pm Sun November 16
Runs 2 hr One interval.
TICKETS: 01206 573948
Review: William Russell 4 November
Fangs, blood and hilarity at the BBC
Fitzrovia Radio is something of an institution, sending up, as they do, the joys of steam radio back in the days when the BBC ruled the airwaves. But this latest offering directed by Cal McCrystal is slightly different.
The usual suspects are performing Dracula, but the guest star playing the Count is somebody new : a foreign actor called Count Alucard. It being obvious who he really is to all except the assorted thespians, he proceeds to make a meal of the lot of them.
David Benson has a whale of a time swirling his cape, flashing his fangs and generally laying waste while the actors carry on regardless.
The cast also do all the sound effects which can be very illuminating. How do you create a tomb lid being raised? You rub a flower pot along a piece of stone. The best one is when somebody says – “That door is ajar” – and the actor unscrews the top of a honey jar and sure enough the door opens and is a jar. The piece is a glorious homage to the days when pianists like Kay Cavendish and Peggy Cochrane tinkled the ivories – Tom Mallaburn provides the music, including some bum notes, at a piano which is also an organ delightfully. And Fiona Sheehan and Joanna Wake recall the glory days of Marjorie Westbury and Gladys Young and the ladies who shone in the BBC drama repertory company in Saturday Night Theatre.
Jon Edgley Bond is the dashing leading man with designs on Ms Sheehan, and Dan Starkey, who has to introduce it all, loses his wig from time to time. Alvar Lidell even reads the news – until he falls foul of the Count.
Count Alucard: David Benson
Harker/Vicar: Jon Edgley Bond
Arthur/Coachman: Tom Mallaburn
Didrika, Etceterina, Lady Vampire, Mina: Fiona Sheehan
Dr Ominus, Lady Vampire, Lucy, Paperboy, Sister Mary Tabernacle: Joanna Wake
Director: Cal McCrystal
Designer: Lucy Bradridge
Lighting Designer: David Phillips
Sound Designer: Tom Lishman
Original Music: Tom Mallaburn