Dracula: Sex, Sucking and Stardom

Sat 4th – Mon 27th August 2012


Bridget Wynne Willson

at 23:39 on 5th Aug 2012



Last Chance Saloon’s interpretation of “Dracula” is an entertaining, bawdy celebration of a gruesome tale that strays wholly and wonderfully from the original. The three-strong cast provide a truly hilarious night’s entertainment.

Between them Jack Faires, Sam Dunham and Simon Naylor cover all characters. This enhances, rather than detracts from, the performance as dodgy scene and costume changes contribute to the play’s overall effect. Flourishes such as the walk down a corridor in Dracula’s castle, as portraits and painting float by, and the whirlwind journey from England to Transylvania, as Jack Faires plays bus, train, ferry and carriage conductor all in one scene , add to the play’s charm. The secret of the production’s success, in spite of such limitations, lies in the impressively smooth performances by all three actors. The camaraderie between them is palpable.

Enjoyable fight scenes and slapstick prompted shrieks of laughter from the audience. Although the play is at times pantomime-esque, and the occasional joke is a bit crude for some tastes, renditions of popular songs with vampire puns and unusual choreography will be sure to please. Faires provides some of the play’s most entertaining moments as a guitar-wielding vampire, and Dunham and Naylor both give slick performances in these instances as victims possessed by the music and forced to dance along.

Do not expect life-changing drama or coverage of serious issues from the performance. Nonetheless, Last Chance Saloon delivers a riotous, well-executed evening of entertainment. A word of warning; the shy would be wise to not sit in the front row as audience participation is expected. It may also be wise to bring along a water pistol.

“Time flies in a one-act play,” says Van Helsing (played by Naylor, complete with dubious Dutch accent) once more wittily masking an intentional continuity error; it seems that time flies for the audience as well, as “Dracula: Sex, Sucking and Stardom” comes to a close far sooner than we would wish.


Steve Hartill

at 09:20 on 6th Aug 2012



The plot of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” has received a huge comic re-“vamp” (get it?!) from the Last Chance Saloon this Edinburgh Fringe, and there was plenty of talent on show in the piece directed by Simon Egerton. They opened with a Lady Gaga parody that incorporated Dracula himself into the song. From beginning to end, pop music parodies popped up throughout the play. The three-man cast showed significant versatility, switching between musical numbers to the main plot of the play seamlessly. The plot itself incorporated a wide variety of humour, including slapstick comedy in a very similar style to the Three Stooges, many knowing winks to the audience, and witty and clever dialogue.

The script, written by two of the performers, contained a number of moments of self-parody, such as mocking the naivety of the protagonist, John Harker, self-mockery of the limited number of actors in the cast, and frequent moments of breaking the fourth wall, such as “Time flies in a one-act play!”. The three men also managed to convey a large cast of characters through use of fairly basic costumes, including a multitude of hats that conveyed the entire trip to Transylvania, and use of few props on a minimalist stage, while getting the laughs with pantomime style back and forth and men in drag, although some jokes were worn a little thin. The main characters, John Harker, the Count himself and Van Helsing, were certainly the strongest and clearly defined. Harker’s innocent good nature, Van Helsing’s dodgy “Dutch” accent, and Count Dracula’s camp obsession with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and all things musical theatre. The trio of Sam Dunham, Jack Faires and Simon Morris shared the spotlight spectacularly, so that none of them was left out. The comic juxtaposition of the main plot, that of the original, Gothic story, with Dracula’s urge for fame in the West End, worked excellently as a multi-stranded plot.

The show was technically sound, with lighting cues working fluidly and none of the actors missing a beat. The writing was snappy and clever, with occasional bouts of satire, although the resolution of the plot was a little unsatisfying. An enjoyable show which really illustrated all of the performers’ talents, I would certainly recommend catching this retelling of a classic story.


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