dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
A bloodsucking evening
Birmingham's mac managed a double bill of the National Theatre Live Frankenstein on the same evening as this production of Scary Little Girls' Dracula – which just goes to show how we love those horror classics.
Scary Little Girls attempt to bring us a new version of Bram Stoker's classic in Dracula: The Kisses. While it follows the traditional story, the all-female cast take on all of the roles.
The production attempts to blend comedy and horror in a show which ends up being neither particularly effectively.
There are some jokes but it isn't exactly side-splitting humour and the horror never really takes off. The moments where the vampires strike or are destroyed have a certain edge to them but much of the rest of the action sits somewhat uneasily between the two.
Illona Linthwaite lacks the fear factor as Dracula. She looks impressive with her long white cloak and stature but there is a lack of tension about her. Even when she moves in for the kill she never really had me worried.
Shazz Andrew's Dr Van Helsing is a curious character. The focus is clearly on this character being the hub of the comedy with his lasciviousness and wise-cracking. However that then makes his vampire-chasing knowledge also seem a bit silly which again detracts from the menace which he is supposedly stalking.
Helen Millar is an equally sex-obsessed Dr Seward while Bobbi O'Callaghan is the sickly Lucy Westenra who is at the centre of all this male attention.
Mary Woodvine's Jonathan Harker captures the fear and suspicion at being locked in Dracula's castle while Rebecca Mordan is the measured Mina Harker who manages to help chase the vampire while also being in his thrall.
Directed by Helen Tennison and written by Rebecca Mordan this Dracula has a sense of not being totally cohesive. There are plenty of half-formed ideas but they never seem to settle into a clear direction.