Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs

Just back from watching Dracula at the Arts Theatre

The original Dracula was a tale of a primitive horror in the then modern late-Victorian world. Harker, van Helsing and co communicated with telegrams and travelled by steamer. This adaptation followed that spirit by bringing things up to date, with email, Google and MMS all displayed on large screens over the stage. That all worked surprisingly well, and after the initial surprise managed to be a believable world.

What was a little odd was most of the cast were (mostly) playing it straight, but Dracula was camping it up for all it was worth. In the first scene in Castle Dracula it worked well, there were plenty of self-aware references to Hammer Horror, Buffy and the like, but as I got more involved with the rest of the cast, Dracula seemed more incongruous. I think the playing-for-laughs until the (un)death was part of what weakened the ending for me, also the cast's energy seemed to wane toward the end, everything seemed a bit rushed and perfunctory.

Overall though it was very enjoyable, Mina Harker and van Helsing were particularly good, and there was strong interplay between them. The unusual setting worked, and there were some impressive stage tricks involving disappearing vampires.
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