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Review: Dracula, Mercury Theatre, Colchester!

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Review: Dracula, Mercury Theatre, Colchester!

Daisy Jones reviews Dracula, at Mercury Theatre in Colchester until November 18

Halloween might be over, but the scares aren’t! Colchester’s Mercury Theatre has teamed up with quirky theatre company The Fitzrovia Radio Hour for a chilling, thrilling and downright funny production of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

The 1930s was all about the headgear

A versatile cast of six perform the Gothic classic as actors performing a radio show at the BBC’s London studio – complete with a piano forte, retro microphones, and a huge and cluttered props table. The full evening dress, stiff formality and Received Pronunciation really take the audience back to the 1930s, and a whole different world.

Jon Edgley Bond_Dracula_Mercury_Theatre
Jon Edgley Bond gets hungry mid-performance

With almost everyone on stage from start to finish, the performance has an incredible energy and is packed with brilliant comic details, from Miss Sheehan and Mr Mallaburn’s furious yet silent bickering, to Mr Edgley Bond crunching on an entire stick of celery to create the sound effect of a neck being snapped. Running gags include Dracula’s trademark laugh, an amazingly mobile wig, and the most deadpan delivery of the name “Harker” you will ever hear – and they are all pulled off easily and effectively. To put it simply, it’s a great laugh.

David Benson is apparently hungrier

But it’s not all laughs – Dracula does deliver some genuine scares, especially as the play reaches its gruesome climax. In the words of director Cal McCrystal, “Perhaps it would be wise to avail yourself of some smelling salts – just in case.”

Photography: Robert Day


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