With Halloween ominously looming around the corner, it seems only apt to delve into what Brighton Theatre’s weird and wonderful world has to offer this October. Next week at Brighton’s The Old Market, the Exeter based theatre group Le Navet Bete brings to life Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic blood-drenched tale of Dracula with a particularly comical twist – Dracula: The Bloody Truth. Made up of a tight-knit cast of four that have previously performed in their own inventive and quirky versions of Robin Hood, The Jungle Book and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I’m interested to explore whether this close working bond between them all will be successfully translated onstage.

Specialising in physical theatre, the play promises to not only spook the living daylights out of the audience in true Halloween style but establish itself as a firm favourite within the niche category of farcical horror in theatre. The slapstick nature of it will hopefully make theatre this Halloween more accessible to a wider, family-friendly audience, with just an 8+ age restriction on the show – making a refreshing change from the more adult and sinister horror plays circling London’s West End currently, such as Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black.

Highlighting the immersive nature of the play in its description, a considerable amount of the performance relies on the relationship between the audience and actors. For many immersive pieces with audience interaction, a strained relationship can often lead to a slightly cringe-worthy and uncomfortable reaction. However, I have high hopes for the directorial decisions complementing the storytelling style of the play, with Dracula being a wise choice of tale; it combines classic slapstick humour with the dramatics of Stoker’s classic. With the comedic direction of John Nicolson, we are set up to be taken on a journey across Europe with lessons to protect ourselves at all costs by none other than the infamous Professor Van Helsing. In Le Nevet Bete’s words themselves “Dracula: The Bloody Truth, promises to have the vampires back in the ground and leave audiences flying high”.

The performances will take place at The Old Market at the following times:

Tuesday 24 October – Wednesday 25 October at 7pm (Doors 6.15pm)

Thursday 26 October – Saturday 28 October at 7.30pm (Doors 6.45pm)

Matinee: Sat 28 October at 3pm (Doors 2.15pm)

Tickets : From £10 standard/£8 concessions (including students)

Featured Image: The Old Market

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Florence Dutton

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