Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour
Presented by: Newman Entertainment
Directed by: Adelaide Clark
St James Theatre, 3rd Nov 2023
Reviewed by: Madelaine Empson
Well, this will be a fun review to write, but little ones: please avert your eyes.
Dracula’s Cabaret is an Australian institution: a vaudevillian variety show inspired by the iconic The Rocky Horror Show. The comedy cabaret restaurant thrilled, teased, and titillated audiences for an unprecedented 37 years in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast, where it first creaked open its doors in 1985 and remains today. Produced by Luke Newman, Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour combines those decades of perfected performances into one tasty morsel that Wellington fans got to sink their fangs into for the first time ever this November.
Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour stars Vladimir (host and comedian William Rogers), Onyx (vocalist James Smart), Viper (burlesque performer and vocalist Clara Fable), Duo Synergy (aerial and variety artists Scott Lazarevich and Emma Goh), The Heart Attack Twins (dancers Molly Kealey and Amber Flaherty), Vendetta (guitarist Viola Skyes), and Whiskey (drummer Lachlan Neate). These nine performers pack a (blood)sucker of a punch as they present a scintillating, sexually charged smorgasbord of acts straddling both the expected and the wickedly unorthodox.
But even the ‘traditional’ song, dance, burlesque, and acrobatic numbers are anything but. Haloed in epic stage lighting (Reuben Willmot), Smart, Skyes, and Neate’s rendition of Led Zeppelin’s anthemic Stairway to Heaven is nothing short of world class. Stripteases include a flawless burlesque number from Fable (I’ve never seen such smooth disgloving!) and a tongue-in-cheek towel moult from Smart and the electrifying Rogers, who is all-round hilarious. Duo Synergy performs three gravity-defying feats that send my jaw plummeting to the floor.
And then we’ve got the unconventional. John Taylor’s technical design sees superb puppetry utilised hilariously in a scene featuring a giant worm-like penis (sorry kids, I did warn you) and a terrifying giant baby I’m still having nightmares about. Let’s not forget the floating-heads concert of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that gets some of the loudest laughs of the night.
Packed with feathers and leather, debauchery and stage sorcery, every second of this 80-minute show slays. I’m desperate to ride the roller coaster again.