A still and moonlit night. A dark stage inside an old Victorian theatre…

Dracula – Devonshire Park Theatre 18-22 February


Blackeyed Theatre Company’s production of Bram Stoker’s gothic tale was gripping and stunning. The cast of five carried the entire show, including scene changes, music and sound effects.

Their superb physical theatre techniques and ensemble performances increased the tension and injected humorous light relief where needed.

1897. The world created is a world not unlike our own – on the brink of huge change: caught between religion and ritual, science and technology; uncertain where to seek the truth. Into this despairing void comes the wild and sensual Count Dracula ~ serpent-like with his piercing bite and his slow-creeping poison: offering his kiss to satisfy our deepest desires, but at a price no human soul can bear.

The characters were strong and convincing and the sheer theatricality was a joy to watch.

Each act opened with live music in the various European folk traditions – a winner for me already! – and the ritualistic movement between light and dark, flame and shadow made the whole experience completely immersive. The powerful play of light and depth created a chilling ending that leaves an indelible mark and asks some thought-provoking questions.

I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and was physically gripped throughout – with just enough laughs to keep me sane and smiling, too!


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