REVIEW by Alan Cleaver: Dracula at Santon Bridge Village Hall

For many Christopher Lee is the ultimate Dracula – but David Mynne gave a biting performance in his one-man show.

christopher-lee-draculaAnd while it has been re-invented in film, video games and on stage many times, actor David Mynne put his take on it at Santon Bridge Village Hall last month.

The talented Mr Mynne staged it as a one-man show in an event supported by Arts Out West.

The Cornish actor has made the thousand-mile round trip before with his one-man show, Great Expectations. You would think he’d make it a two-man show if only so he had someone to share the driving.

Just a few simple props and a minimum of ‘stage’ lighting enabled him to conjure up a slimmed-down version of the Gothic classic.

It begins, of course, with Jonathan Harker making the journey to Dracula’s castle in Transylvania and encountering the family of vampires determined to uproot from their eastern European home and take up a new seaside residence at Whitby in England.

It was a simple re-telling of the often complex original tale (this adaptation was by Andrew McPherson) and at times it was hard to believe there was only one man on the stage.

The audience seemed gripped from start to finish – and the Santon Bridge crew had even laid on suitably themed nibbles for the interval (garlic bread featured of course but sadly no steaks!).

If there was a weakness it was trying to decide whether the show was comedy or horror.

For many, the idea of vampires flapping about is rarely going to be scary but there weren’t enough laughs to make this comedy either; it ended up falling between two stools.

But entertaining it certainly was. And damned impressive acting it certainly was.

Watch out for more Arts Out West events at Santon Bridge and other venues.