Dracula (2 stars)

Action to the Word's gothic musical Edinburgh Festival Fringe production is like Twilight meets Glee

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This article is from 2014.


Before we start laying into Action To The Word’s gothic musical adaptation, let it be known: there were just as many audience members offering standing ovations as there were sneaking out mid-show. To find out which side of the dividing line you’re on, ask yourself: how would you feel about Glee mixed with Twilight?

Throwing Bram Stoker’s source material almost completely to the wind, the company are happy to adapt Francis Ford Coppola’s screen version instead, casting Mina Harker as the reincarnation of Count Dracula’s long-dead first love. Shirts are tossed to the wings to reveal Taylor Lautner abs; Mina and best pal Lucy get tongue-blasted at every opportunity; and the entire cast vamp around (pun intended) whenever one of the iffily-played jukebox numbers cue up (including Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ as sung by asylum inmate Renfield and a coven of vamp-whores wailing Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’).

The lone aspect of the production that borders on interesting is the gender-switching of stuffy asylum chief Dr Seward to a feisty female medic, but this is merely enacted to insert a bisexual soap opera love triangle pentagon with Van Helsing, Lucy and Lucy’s various admirers. Bram Stoker must be rolling in his garlic-lined grave.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 11), 9.20pm, £11–£14 (£10–£13).

This article is from 2014.


  • 2 stars

Action To The Word From the creators of the award-winning, international smash-hit A Clockwork Orange, Action To The Word premiere their much-anticipated steampunk adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel. This thrilling reworking of the infamous gothic horror drags you to hell and back. Combining a powerhouse…


1. Jayne Horton6 Aug 2014, 1:35pm Report

100% disagree with your reviewer. This version of Dracula was amazing! I wonder if the reviewer went to the same show as I did as it is so wide of the mark.

Frankly, to describe the show's music as "iffily-played jukebox numbers" is really insulting. My three friends and I (all the wrong side of 30) thought the music was superb. The whole show was fantastic and we were among, to quote your reviewer, the "many audience members offering standing ovations."

I would strongly recommend anyone to see Dracula. There are fairer and more accurate reviews online and if you take a look at Twitter (just search for 'actiontotheword') you'll see there are plenty of people raving about it.

2. Rob Wharmby6 Aug 2014, 1:55pm Report

This show is fabulous. Your reviewer must have been having a bad day because the audience loved it!

I went on a recommendation and have also now recommended it to others.

Ignore the reviewer's comments. We also gave it a standing ovation too. Go along to Dracula and enjoy it as much as we did.

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