Dracula
Dracula: The Bloody Truth | Image © Matt Austin

Dracula: The Bloody Truth – Review

Dracula: The Bloody Truth – New Wolsey Theatre

I’m a huge fan of performers that can multi-task (look no further than the wonderful Wolsey Theatre’s iconic annual rock and roll panto) so I was super excited to have the opportunity to review ‘Dracula – The Bloody Truth’ on its five day run in town this week.

Hailing from Exeter, La Navet Bete are a spectacularly talented theatre company of just four actors – Nick Bunt, Al Dunn, Matt Freeman and Simon Burbage – who between them mange to perform the roles of over forty characters during this very tongue in cheek spoof of Bram Stoker’s iconic Dracula tale. 

Written and directed by John Nicholson, the story opens with the spotlight on Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Nick Bunt) who vehemently tells us that tonight, he would make us understand the difference between fiction and truth… and that by the end of the performance, we would discover that Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is in fact… fact!

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Taking us on a journey across Europe from the eerie depths of the Transylvanian mountains to the charming seaside town of Whitby, Van Helsing and his three hapless actors stage a side splitting, laugh-out-loud adaptation of this world renowned novel, which had the audience wholly engaged from the very start.

The set was intentionally dated, with a faded tatty curtain, dodgy brickwork and battered doors, creating the perfect backdrop, and all of this was used to great comedic effect.

This slap-stick story was full of chaotic costume changes, delayed sound effects and collapsing scenery. The latter was executed with great ingenuity and “fixed” with a huge amount of hilarity – which included using Sacha (from the front row of the audience) to come and help hold up part of the stage that had threatened to crush those below.

The unexpected uses of props – some which were intentionally faulty – just added to the hilarious chaos of the show. It was a play full of costume disasters, woefully bad wigs, cheesy jokes and mishaps which made this an absolute joy to watch. Each of the four actors took their characters to the comedy max – with Matt Freeman’s portrayal of Mina and Al Dunn’s of Lucy being two of the funniest femme fatales I have ever had the pleasure to watch.

If you’re looking for something to ‘sink your teeth into’ then look no further than this magnificent performance of classic comedy – you’d be ‘batty’ to miss it.

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