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THE DRACULA HOUR @ Studio 411 gets 7.5/10


The Dracula Hour
@ Studio 411
Thursday, October 31, 2019

7.5/10

With so many reboots and reinterpretations in theatre and movies these days, it is understandable that many audiences’ first reactions are groans and eye rolls. This was not the case for The Dracula Hour. Written and directed by Evie MacPherson, and produced by Bone Moe, a theatre company dedicatedly serious about being silly, The Dracula Hour was the Monty Python-esque reinterpretation of Bram Stoker’s classic the (unfortunately) small audience in Studio 411 never realised they needed.

Spanning three mini episodes, MacPherson’s The Dracula Hour follows Dracula, Igor and Van Helsing’s shenanigans in the modern world. Clad in a floppy sunhat and tuxedo T-shirt, Van Helsing was the first glimpse of what was to come as he sat pondering his stake, his gun, and the amulet on the table beside him while a funky guitar riff played in the background. Davis Anderson was hilarious in the role, switching the broody, gritty traits of every other vampire hunter cliché for hilariously terrible stage magic, an addiction to sounding cool on his tape recorder, and a Mecha suit vulnerable to bad sausage puns.

A red, pulsing light and with a blast of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, the spotlight turned to Maxim Laffont as Dracula, the suave Victorian dandy amplified as a whiny, flamboyant (yet lovable) idiot with first world problems. Rather than struggling with modern times and technology, Dracula’s main struggle was for independence. Emphasis on ‘struggle’ as he could not even put his own shoes on without the help of his loyal, long-suffering servant Igor.

Exchanging the hunchback, limp and “yesh maaaashter” lisp for a Scottish accent, a hobo-esque outfit (rain hat, random furs and other mismatched clothing items) and (concerning) subtle intelligence, Nic Doig’s Igor brought to mind the timeless characters of Monty Python and drew the most sympathy from the audience. How Igor had the patience to deal with Dracula’s tantrums is anyone’s guess!

While the humour and relationships between characters were the focus of the show, plot development was unfortunately lacking, appearing more as a sequence of skits than mini-episodes with a beginning, middle and end. This did not detract from the humour though, and neither did Van Helsing’s fumble with his set up of his ‘magic show’ sign, as it merged perfectly with his character.

Though the set, props and costumes were uncomplicated, it was ideal for such a short show. The Dracula Hour‘s joke timing, nostalgia, and hilarious reinvention of classic horror tropes left the audience chuckling as they left Studio 411. A fun experience in the spirit of Halloween, that left everyone thirsting for more. Bram Stoker would be proud. Probably.

SUZI SPENCER

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