In the world of the theatrical "undead", it looks as though only one is left standing, at least where vamp-meets-camp musicals named Dragula are concerned.
One show of that name was first seen in September 2002 at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Islington, north London, while earlier this summer, a second version of the same - produced by Simon Gross for The Production Crew Ltd and "completely recast and re-directed, with an updated script and score" - announced that it would open at the West End's Heaven nightclub for six weeks from 28 July to 31 August 2003 (previews 21 July, See News, 22 Jul 2003).
However, after "technical difficulties" and rumours of company walkouts, the press night for the latter was postponed until this past Monday (11 August). And today, after stinging reviews, it appears that the rest of the season has been axed. Officially, according to the venue, performances are being indefinitely cancelled "because of the hot weather".
Meanwhile, the "original" Dragula is set to return next month to the newly enlarged Rosemary Branch, where leading drag artist and TV presenter (Faking It, Wish You Were Here) Dave Lynn will recreate the title role for a limited run from 2 September to 5 October 2003.
In this version of the cult vamp hit, Johnny and Mina find the road to true love can be bumpy - especially when it leads to Transylvania, where Dragula, Countess of the Night, lives in a 300-bedroom castle with her personal henchman, commanding views over the Carpathian mountains and some unusual period features.
Written and directed by Dominic Symonds, the Rosemary Branch Dragula also features a live band and a slew of 1980s pop hits such as "Thriller", "The Only Way Is Up", "Tainted Love" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart". To avoid any confusion, the show's promotional material emphasises that "Dave Lynn and this production have nothing whatsoever to do with an event of the same name taking place in a nightclub in Villiers Street".
- by Terri Paddock