By Jasper Price, First Year Theatre
The Wardrobe Theatre company are back with their Christmas show for the seventh year. This spooktacular reimagining of two well-known tales left us all howling with laughter. A vampiric comedy that’s sure to leave you fangful.
I went into this production unaware of the rollercoaster ahead of me. After seeing the name, Drac & Jill, I was sceptical. Having a free evening, however, I emerged into the cold from my student abode in search of laughter, and I must say, I was not disappointed. This is the eighth Wardrobe Theatre Christmas show to be produced in-house. Last year the company saw success with Oedipuss in Boots and now they’re back with Drac & Jill, a tale inspired by the famous nursery rhyme but totally different in every way. Expect Karaoke, singing nuns, Vampires, cat cafes, nudity and just one dead baby.
After a late start the chaos began, starting with a brief prologue to set the scene. Clever puppetry and voice work served to prep the audience for what was to come, whilst the green smoke filled both the stage and my heart with a sense of dread. What followed was a well-produced, polished and professional evening of theatre. The sheer amount of rehearsal and planning time that must have gone into this play is mind-boggling. The jokes were hilarious and quick, the original music catchy and creative, and the more wholesome moments were warming and thought-provoking.
The cast of four dazzled in their variety of roles. Van Helsing was played by Tom Fletcher, who’s energy and wit captivated the audience into joining him in song. He was able to make the audience laugh in hysterics with just the slightest change in facial expression- the mark of any good comic actor. Corrina Buchan, who played a very seductive Dracula, held the role with a fierce energy, especially during her songs. Caitlin Cambell, who played Mina Harker, was great at making small moments terrifically funny. Alice Lamb shone in the role of Francis, a nun with a nightmare problem. Her comic timing was perfect, and, despite breaking character at some moments, carried an exceptional performance. The way that the four of them worked together to create all these different characters was brilliant.
However, this performance was not without its drawbacks. At some points, I wanted to yell out “she’s behind you!” fearing that we had strayed into Panto territory, given the cheesy and sometimes painful one-liners. At other times I felt like yelling, “hurry up!”, as I felt the second half dragged a little towards the middle. All in all though, I cannot fault the dedication and professionalism in this production. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fun, hilarity fuelled night out.
Featured Image / The Wardrobe Theatre
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