The Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s Dracula
Those au fait with Bram Stoker's chilling gothic classic Dracula can expect terror with a comedic twist, as West End and fringe favourite The Fitzrovia Radio Hour thrives in its toughest assignment since forming in 2008.
Famed for his work on One Man, Two Guvnors, humour is never going to be in short supply with director Cal McCrystal at the helm of this charming 1930s radio theatre depiction.
From marigolds to whisks, Fitzrovia's bizarre yet ingenious household props demonstrate vintage sound effect simplicity, as mangled melons masquerade as shredded stomachs and succulent peaches become bloodsucking neck nibbles.
Set in an authentic 1930s BBC recording studio, the dapper cast, with their cut-glass annunciation, wouldn't look out of place at a Downton dinner party.
Telling in his contrasting character portrayals, Dan Starkey brings with him vast radio play experience, most notably as the epitome of an old-school BBC announcer.
Smooth Jon Edgley Bond, co-founder of The Fitzrovia Radio Hour, oozes panache as the dashing Jonathan Harker, while the flirtatious doe-eyed Fiona Sheehan proves the prime example of the cast's admirable versatility, morphing effortlessly from diverse roles ranging from the prim and proper Mina, to a cackling Lady Vampire.
Fond of tea, biscuits and audience appreciation in equal measure, seasoned radio play veteran Joanna Wake muddles her way through delightfully, with her forgetfulness an added charm.
However, David Benson's cloaked Count Alucard captures all the sinister Dracula-like mannerisms you'd hope for, but with an added bite of hilarity. Audiences will never tire of his villainous yet comic 'ah, ahâ?¦ah's'.
- Mercury Theatre, Colchester
- October 30-November 15, PN November 4
- Author: Bram Stoker novel, Jon Edgley Bond, Tom Mallaburn, Phil Mulryne adaptation
- Director: Cal McCrystal
- Design: Lucy Bradridge set, costume
- Technical: David Phillips lighting, Tom Lishman sound, John Walton assistant director, Martin Pengelly creative consultant
- Cast: David Benson, Jon Edgley Bond, Tom Mallaburn, Fiona Sheehan, Dan Starkey, Joanna Wake
- Producers: The Fitzrovia Radio Hour, Mercury Theatre Colchester
- Running time: 1hr 50mins