Scotland reviews 27 items
Bram Stoker's Dracula at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh
I’ve survived several productions of The Woman in Black, Ghost Stories… and living close to Bray Studios where Hammer Horror films were made in the sixties! But nothing prepared me for this brand new version of the classic vampire thriller.

Billed as ‘A Live Multi-Sensory Trip of Terror’, I wondered just how many of our senses would be employed - would we be required to drink blood? Would we have vampires flapping round our ears? To tell you more would be to spoil the frightening fun. All I am saying is that Paul Ewing’s music and sound and Ben Cracknell’s lighting are spectacular. And you know it is going to be something special when an illusionist’s name appears in the creative team’s list, in this instance Ben Hart.

I may not be able to write anything about the presentation, but there’s nothing to stop me writing about the performances.

A Touring Consortium Theatre Company production, the cast is largely made up of young actors, and all credit to them, as well as to movement director Sara Green and fight director Kevin McCurdy. I was too far back in the dress circle to see Dracula’s fangs, but Glen Fox is suitably ghoulish in the title role, and I especially like Jessica Webber’s playful and passionate Lucy.

What does give the production gravitas, however, is the casting of Cheryl Campbell as Lady Renfield and Philip Bretherton as Professor Van Helsing.

It’s a while since I’ve seen Cheryl Campbell perform and it’s a joy to see her slip into different personas, chameleon-like, as a delightfully mad member of the asylum. Philip Bretherton too has great presence. From the moment he strides onto the stage to play the Dutch vampire hunter as authoritative but fallible, he grabs my attention, reminding me of Anthony Hopkins.

Jenny King’s adaptation could be tighter and some scenes would benefit from being shorter, but there is much to commend this production. If you like to be scared you should see it, but don’t get complacent. You never know when you’re going to jump out of your skin!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh until Nov 3
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
It then continues touring:
Nov 6-10: Hippodrome Darlington Box Office 01325 405405
Nov 13-17: Grand Theatre Blackpool Box Office 01253 290 190
Nov 20-24: Grand Theatre Wolverhampton Box Office 01902 429 212
Nov 27-Dec 1: Alhambra Theatre Bradford Box Office 01274 432000