Reviewed by Louise Totton
Last night, we were lucky enough to be invited along to the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford to watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I always love going along to The Alhambra – right from the outset it always feels like an occasion, which starts as you drive past and see it beautifully lit up.
We parked at Hall Ings car park, which is a multi-storey around a five minutes’ walk from the theatre. This car park also offers discounted parking if you are visiting the theatre, just ask at the theatre box office and they will give you the discount voucher. Our 4-hour stay was reduced from £8 to £4.50.
The theatre itself is a lovely, old style traditional theatre and had a fantastic atmosphere that we noticed when we arrived there was a real buzz about the place. The bar in the foyer was full, with people chatting and looking forward to the show and we were really excited for the show to start.
We were seated in lovely comfortable seats, with an excellent view of the stage. There are no columns or viewing restrictions in the theatre, and it looked like all of the seats would have had a good view.
The show started with a bang (literally) and the audience were immediately drawn into the dark, Gothic tale. I think Dracula is one of those stories that we all think we know, but actually we just know either one of the many different interpretations of the tale, or have a notion of the character based on stereotypes. This play very much tells an accurate, if abridged, version of Bram Stoker’s book, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. All of the characters you would expect were there – Van Helsing (Philip Bretherton) was quite brilliant, and even had the audience laughing out loud on occasion. Renfield, Seward, Jonathan Harker and Lucy were all present, but all brought right up to date for this adaptation.
The casting was spot on, particularly Jessica Webber who captured Lucy’s vulnerability perfectly, and Glen Fox who we thought was brilliant as Dracula and was eerie, masculine and threatening whilst being completely polite and a perfect gentleman. Although the casting and storyline were fantastic, in many ways the special effects, use of lighting and the set stole the show. I literally jumped out of my seat on more than one occasion, and the Touring Consortium Theatre Company achieved so much more than I would have thought possible with the simple set up of the stage.
We absolutely loved this performance and it reminded both of us just how special a night at the theatre can be. All of the productions I have seen recently have been family shows, so going to a grown-ups’ show was a real treat.
A wonderful show at a fabulous theatre.
Tickets cost from £17 to £29 (booking fee may apply).
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 27 November to 1 December 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000