|Date||21st October 2012|
|Society||Little Theatre Company|
|Venue||The Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Director||Tim Cater & Gerry Davis|
|Musical Director||Paul Day|
Author: Tessa Davies
I had been told that the Frank Wildhorn’s music in this show was outstanding and with lyrics co-written by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, I looked forward to this production, particularly as it has only been performed in a very limited way since 2001.
Firstly I have to mention the set; it was, quite simply spectacular, however not so spectacular that it detracted from the performances. It simply complemented them and, the use of a revolve, made the scene changes and, therefore, the pace move swiftly along. Although it did, on occasions, mask the action from some members of the audience, I noted people close to me moving from side to side to try to see what was happening in some scenes, particularly the wedding scene. However these scenes were quite short and the audience do sit quite close to the stage in this theatre. Because the theatre stage has a significant rake, the revolve had to be built up quite a bit, raising the stage still higher which contributed to this masking.
This production had a particularly strong cast, Scott Roche (Count Dracula) has an astonishing voice (and vocal range) and his performance in the lead role was excellent. Hana Cox (Mina Murray) was quite beautiful and she has a voice to match, hitting all the notes perfectly and with great effect.
They were ably supported by a very strong group of actors and it is always difficult for me to pick out any one person in such an excellent cast. So I am not going to single out any one of them but mention them all! Simon Bristoe (Jonathan Harker) Katie Neil (Lucy Westenra) Lee Jackson (Professor Van Helsing) Bradley Green (Renfield) Rob Burdett (Dr Jack Seward) Chris Lidgard (Quincey Morris) Ross Sowerbutts (Arthur Holmwood) Gemma Carracher, Lianne Larthe and Lucy McFarlane (the three Vampires). The ensemble were also an important part of this production and the singing was excellent throughout.
Costumes, lighting and sound were all to the usual high standard of LTC’s productions. I have to say that the story is not one that grabs me but this production was, in all respects, simply outstanding.
Well done LTC.