Brighton Fringe 2017
Theatre company ‘Let Them Call It Mischief’ weaves the 120 year old masterpiece into the a modern age of gluten and patriarchal intolerance with a surge of references to Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer topped with lashings of over the top melodrama. Five cast members played fifteen characters as they re-told the story of the Romanian count on his visit to England as Mina seeks to challenges the patriarchal attitudes of Victorian courtship whilst Dracula he seeks loves to break his curse.
The play was written by Danny Wainwright and Daniel Hallisey which successfully punctuated a neat rhythm for the actors to perform. The text infused the Victorian origin story with absurd and hilarious references to vampire populist films and how absurd the notion is of the medical interventions to cure vampirism and feminism and alludes to lovingly share the flaws in all the infamous characters and their roles.
The cast perform with unstoppable energy as they transform the characters across Europe and back again to thwart Dracula’s quest for love and redemption. Count Dracula played by Rob Cummings oozes charm and grace as he sweeps around London in pursuit of sweaty palms and LBW law. Mina played by Sarah Badnum captivated the audience with her force to be reckoned as she pursed her independence, whilst Lucy, played by Alyssa Noble juxtaposed her skill in delivering her hapless fate beautifully. Harker was executed with panache as the naïve yet lusting Englishman who went along with the other men for the ‘ride’.
Van Helsing was the highlight of the raucous hour, played by Graham Elwell with his Renfield alter ego battling with hilarious behind bar renditions, costume changes and the debunking of his hair brain ideas as his presence filled the stage in which you were left wanting more.
At times the audibility was lost due to the challenges of fringe venue and the company would benefit from paying particular attention to delivery around pitch. The highlights were the staking and transfusion of Lucy and the train ride which conjured elements of 39 Steps skillful moving scenes. The cast executed the revolving continuous change of characters and scenes well through the use of the door and flats used centre stage and they were able to excellently transport you to different places by the use of props, sounds and their performance style. There was some fantastic moments of moustache fixing and costumes not quite in place which added to the whole melodrama experience.
‘Dracula’ is a witty script punctuated by dry humour, sassy one liners and delivered by skilled melodramatic lovable rogues where you feel uplifted by the outcomes for Dracula and Mina.