Bram Stoker's Dracula

Sink your teeth into this immersive performance of Dracula from Brief Hiatus, which takes audiences on a tour of Preston Manor through dimly lit corridors and opulent dining halls, bringing to life the legends of Dracula, Van Helsing and the gothic horror of Bram Stoker’s famous tale.

get yourself down to Preston Manor and have a bloody good time

This adaptation, by David Shopland and Callum Hughes, of the gothic classic stays close to the original text, but rather than being in a traditional theatre, the setting is Preston Park Manor in Brighton. Audiences are invited into the main hallway of this historic stately home, welcomed to the evening and then split up and taken through the journey of Stoker’s bestseller. The story leads us around the manor, transporting us to settings such as Renfield’s sanatorium, Mina’s private bedroom, dusky inns in Transylvania, cabins on Russian ships and much, much more. It all makes for a very enjoyable retelling of this classic tale and the Manor is used to excellent effect.

As the hunt for the famous Count begins, it becomes clear that behind the scenes, not only are cast members dashing through corridors to prepare the next act, but also that audience members are treated to different parts of the play dependent on which group they are in – this was an excellent way to encourage repeat visits as it did make me want to see the parts that I had missed.

The cast look to be having a fantastic time, ranging from Rose Shaw’s simpering sexuality as Lucy Seward, to the Dracula’s nemesis, monster hunter Professor Van Helsing, played with compelling skill by Seth Morgan. None of the cast disappoint, with Ben Baeza (Harker) Edd Berridge (Dr Seward), and Rosanna Bini (Mina) all absorbing. In addition, there are several recurring minor characters who are equally enthralling, with Faye Lord worthy of a mention in despatches for her portrayal as a sanatorium nurse.

In terms of ‘scare-factor’, this is a production that isn’t going to leave you jumping at the slightest twitch. Instead, it aims to be full of atmosphere and to wrap the audience up in its tale, with additional comic moments provided by Conor Baum’s brash Texan Quincey Morris, who was clearly an audience favourite.

There’s certainly more that could be done here, particularly with the immersive setting, which offered more potential for innovation than what was used. In addition, the finale wasn’t up to the standard of the rest of the play and seemed a tad incongruent with what had happened before it.

Nevertheless, this was an excellent version of Dracula in a fantastically gothic setting. Director Conor Baum has worked some dark magic and I could well see Dracula vanishing, only to reappear in the darkness at the same time next year. In the meantime, get yourself down to Preston Manor and have a bloody good time.

Reviews by Nicholas Abrams

Westminster

Smoking Gun

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

BREXIT

★★★
Exeter Street Hall

Smashing

★★★
Sweet Werks 2 - Werks Central

Mistress to the Midnight

★★★
The Warren: The Hat

Margo & Mr Whatsit

★★★★
Rialto Theatre

Half Baked

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

This Halloween, Brief Hiatus bring Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel to life in a theatrical experience like no other. Set against the opulent backdrop of Brighton's Preston Manor, Dracula has been a convention of the Gothic horror genre since it was penned in 1887. Featuring an original script by Callum Hughes and Dave Whitaker and directed by up and coming regional director Conor baum, this adaptation follows the effects of the enigmatic Count Dracula's exploits from Transylvania to England in a uniquely immersive production.

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets