Review: Dracula: The Bloody Truth at York Theatre Royal

This show is by Award Winning Kings of Comedy: le Navet Bete and since the premiere at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, the production has toured the world.

By Angie Millard

Audiences are taken across Europe, from Transylvania to Whitby, led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing and accompanied by three other superbly talented actors. Their quest is to expose the truth behind the Bram Stoker novel and warn us about the real danger of vampires. This is done with inventive physical theatre, slapstick and crazy humour.

The director/writer John Nicholson has written for TV and radio and for many famous comedians including Paul Merton, Nina Conti and Rik Mayall. His style is fast, slick and witty but most of all the production is amazingly inclusive. 

The audience adored the show and were used in several set pieces, including a scene where a severed head is thrown into the stalls and lobbed back. On another occasion, a member of the audience is co-opted as an actor; at times, direct address is used by the actors to great effect. and encourages full involvement. What struck me as most impressive was the perfect timing of ‘mis-timed’ moments so that a double entendre of comedy was produced. But most of all, the energy of the actors took my breath away.

Please take your kids to see their productions and you will enjoy the multiple layering of the piece; there is truly something for everyone and a little bit extra to surprise you. These people understand theatre and are able to manipulate their skills to perfection. A boy and his father who were sitting next to me had come from Northallerton and I have rarely witnessed such laughter and total involvement.

Dracula: The Bloody Truth was performed at York Theatre Royal on 24 and 25 September 2021.