Offspringers at the Cramphorn Theatre
The Undead, the Brides of Dracula, the trolley dollies all thronged the Cramphorn stage for the energetic opening of this ever-popular vampire musical.
It's a splendidly camp spoof – though much more innocent than Rocky Horror – and some of these young performers caught the style better than others. Among the most successful was Henry Whitington's Genghis; not as grotesquely deformed as he might have been, but constantly in OTT character. Becky Brewer as Wraith, and Alex Whitington as the Count himself, were also big, bad and bold – their hat-and-cane trio routine was a winner. Clod the Gravedigger, whoever he was, contributed a memorable mime.
On the side of the angels, I liked Ben Hitchen's earnest Professor [lovely subtle mugging] and Eve French's “sweet but vulnerable” Nadia Naïve, the Pennsylvanian teacher who brings her small charges [Loretta Bushell, Paul French, Mattie Scott]
to Transylvania on a school trip. And enthusiastic comedy relief was supplied by Kieran Young and Stephanie Quade as Hans und Gretel.
It was all good fun, with some clever ideas – the bogeys, the Red Bull, the “bridal” bed – and big production numbers – the Drinking Song, Transylvanian Airways. The climax, when the forces of evil are not quite vanquished, was confidently handled.
The Dracula Spectacula was directed by Jayne Silk, with June Watson the Musical Director.