Ah, vampire musicals. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em they always come back to bite. Who can forget the Broadway mega-flops Dance of the Vampires (a Michael Crawford vehicle losing millions), Dracula (the short-lived 2004 Don Black/Christopher Hampton version) and Lestat (Elton John’s most recent attempt in April), all of which lost money and closed within months. Undeterred, a new blood-sucking musical, another Dracula in fact, is already on the horizon. Ahead of a hoped-for full West End production, a concept album is being launched next month, featuring West End pros Michael McCarthy and Stephanie Benavente. This latest version – written, according to promotional material, “with due consideration to the period and intention” of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel and definitely “not based upon a film version” - has music by Christopher J Orton, lyrics and book by Gareth Evans and orchestrations and arrangements by Ian Lynn. A recent play version of Dracula, penned by Bryony Lavery, launched a UK tour “prior to the West End” last year, but the promised transfer never materialised. Let’s hope all is not dead for this latest musical version. The album will be launched at the Dress Circle shop in Covent Garden on 25 September 2006.