Dracula

Oh dear, how disappointing. This started out so well but I ended up feeling very let down.The play is set in an asylum in the late 19th Century. Among the patients are Renfield and Harker, characters from the original Dracula story. The doctor and his patients talk about Dracula. Has he been defeated forever? Did he ever exist, or was he just the product of a deranged mind? At intervals patients describe, or act out, episodes from the book.There begins to develop a belief that not only is Dracula not defeated but he is about to return, or may even have done so already. Patients begin to die or to exhibit signs of vampirism. Is Dracula already there and, if so, whose body is he inhabiting?The production takes place in C soho, Studio 2A, which is a perfect location; a big, gloomy, dusty space with a high ceiling. Performances start at midnight, the ideal time. There is a great sense of anticipation as the audience files in, past patients in long white gowns. Unfortunately, after that it’s all downhill.Much of the action consists of various episodes in which the patients start screaming, or roll around on the floor and have to be sedated. After a while, it becomes clear that all is not as it should be and that perhaps Dracula isn’t defeated after all. Perhaps he’s already there. Unfortunately, by this point it has become difficult to care. Why doesn’t he just come and put and end to it all so that we can go home and get to bed?It all looks very good and the actors do their jobs, but I found it all too hysterical and confusing and couldn’t wait for it to finish.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

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The Blurb

Radical retelling of Bram Stoker's classic. The doctor and his patients would have you believe that the vampire has been defeated forever - but as the boundaries between performance and reality start to collapse, their safety cannot be guaranteed. www.oneohone.org

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