A vampire’s nightmare come true by Madelaine Empson
Australia’s iconic vaudevillian variety show Dracula’s is in the midst and mists of its first-ever New Zealand tour. Swooping into Wellington’s St James Theatre from the 2nd to the 4th of November, Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour will combine years of perfected performances into one dazzling, delightful, demonic show filled to the coffin’s brim with rock music, sultry burlesque, aerial acrobatics, jaw-dropping costumes, and razor-sharp comedy fangs bound to draw blood.
The brainchild of Newman Entertainment, the masterminds of comedy cabaret restaurants in Australia, Dracula’s was born in a Melbourne laneway in 1980. More specifically, an old warehouse on Drewery Lane. Based on the wildly successful The Rocky Horror Show, zany characters and a haunted-castle interior thrilled crowds until Dracula’s outgrew its original venue, moving to its legendary Victoria Street location 10 years later in 1990. It remained there until 2017 after an unprecedented 37 years of epic entertainment in Melbourne.
In 1985, Dracula’s creaked open its doors in a second location – this time on the Gold Coast, off the main drag in a converted shopping centre with all odds stacked against it. Of course, the locals fell in love with the eccentric comedy and intimate atmosphere, and in no time, the venue became known for the long queue that would stretch around the block. The electrifying, horror-fying cabaret is still there to this very day.
In 2021, Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour returned to the city where it all began, smashing years of punchy variety into one bloodbuster show. Now, finally, it’s New Zealand’s turn.
“We’ve had so many Kiwis come see Dracula’s”, Newman Entertainment CEO Luke Newman says. “We can’t wait to thrill and entertain New Zealanders in their own hometowns.”
Lead female vocalist Clara Fable [pictured], who’ll grace our shores this October and November, has had a long love affair with Dracula’s.
“I grew up in Brisbane, with the Gold Coast being a very popular holiday spot during my younger years”, Fable says. “I remember the first time I ever set foot in the illustrious castle itself, I turned to my dad and said, ‘I’m gonna perform here one day!’ Hilarious that my poor dad had absolutely no idea what he was getting us all into by booking us a table that night!”
In 2019, Fable auditioned for a role in Dracula’s on the Gold Coast and ended up becoming the new face of all their marketing.
“Later that year I received the call I’d always dreamed of – I was offered a role in the first ever Dracula’s touring production. Since then, I’ve toured with the incredible team many times, a true vampire’s nightmare come true.”
Fable plays Vyper in Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour, giving me a sneak peek into the sheer spectacle of the show by telling me she has not one, not two, but eight costume changes!
“It’s an all-singing, all-dancing, all-ridiculous show that’s full of nonstop chaos, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Newman says Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour goes beyond classic entertainment.
“It’s almost impossible to sum up this show in a sentence. It has it all. It’s a live spectacle of sexy seduction, silliness, and bodily skill, with feathers, flirting, dancing, singing, and humour. It’s naughty, it’s fun, and it’s on the nose, while still being light-hearted and uplifting. Just what the world needs right now.”