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EDINBURGH FRINGE: Dracula at the Pleasance Courtyard ****

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 11th Aug 2018 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood


If you’re looking to be scared by this production of Dracula, you are going to be...well certainly not disappointed, but surprised.

Instead, think The Play That Goes Wrong - which began at the Edinburgh Fringe and ended up winning Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Count Dracula doesn’t want to be a vampire, but to break his curse he has to meet a woman who knows about cricket, has sweaty palms and is gluten intolerant! Get the drift?

Meanwhile, fresh-faced solicitor Jonathan Harker (Jack Ayres) in Transylvania to do business with the Count, finds himself drawn to three female vampires (well, two and one with a beard and a habit of calling him ‘mate’). Cue Carfax Abbey where a man with a broad Yorkshire accent  is eating fish and chips ‘because we’re in Whitby and there’s been no other reference thus far’.

It gets worse - or should I saw better. It’s a celebration of silliness descending into maniacal farce as actors play different characters which look likely to end up on the stage at the same time.

The Let Them Call It Mischief Theatre Company has already taken this show to the King’s Head in London and Brighton Fringe, so it’s pretty well established. And it’s a joy, from the vampiric Rob Cummings in the title role, shuffling around like a penguin, to the ebullient Graham Elwell who plays seven characters, all with great gusto - from a lunatic under Dracula’s spell to vampire hunter Van Helsing, complete with aviation goggles - a sure sign of trouble! At one point he says, ‘Sorry I am late. I came as quickly as I could get changed’.

Oh, and then there’s the cricket match with a gluten free loaf and a head of garlic. Loved it!

Dracula is at the Pleasance Above, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) at 2,20pm most days.


Box Office: 0131 556 6550




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