Every now and then, I would drive past a strange looking venue that was called Dracula’s Cabaret and I was always curious as to what it was.
Sadly, I never got the opportunity to attend and experience whatever it was that went on each night. Pretty slack if you ask me, it was open for 37 years before it sadly had to close its doors. Well, I was in luck! Dracula’s was back as touring cabaret show! Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour hit Melbourne on Friday the 3rd of June and I was lucky enough to attend The Palms at Crown on Saturday the 4th to experience the debauchery first-hand!
As we arrived at the matinee session, we were greeted by an archway lined with skeletons leading into the venue. Upon entry we spotted a photo wall and prepared to take a selfie to remember the evening, right as a member of the crew snuck up behind us and gave us an almighty fright. I had to exit the venue to check something with out tickets and noticed the same crew member scaring patrons as they came up the escalators to the venue. I then ventured back inside and checked out the merch asking if there were any programme books to a response of “we had some, but we had to burn them all”. I was already having a great time with the crew in full character and the show had not even started yet! I do wish they had programmes though, it would be a fantastic way to remember the evening and the songs that they performed. Alas.
Whilst patiently waiting in our seats, the sound of a chainsaw bellowed from the side of stage. The same individual that was scaring patrons outside was now running around the crowd revving this chainsaw and was chasing after two females. Eventually, they both escaped backstage.
The lights began to dim, and the music kicked in, opening with a with a fantastic cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. With James Smart as Onyx on lead vocals, Cam Smith as Sting on the drums, and Viola Skyes as Vendetta on the guitar, the choice of song was the perfect introduction. I mean, the song literally says, “Please allow me to introduce myself”. There is also a high energy guitar solo by the incredible Vendetta. By the end of the song, the whole cast were on stage and the energy was turned up to eleven! And if the vocal performance from Smart and guitar skills from Skyes were not enough to get the crowd going, the whole cast were dressed in their best vampire themed outfits. Think Halloween with glitter and sequins mixed with burlesque. Everyone looked sexy and fantastic!
After the first number, host, and comedic talent for the show, Will Rogers as Vladimir, introduced the show and prepared the eager audience for what they were about to experience, a sexually ambiguous performance filled with excitement and debauchery. Aside from those already mentioned, the Dracula’s cast consisted of; Clara Fable as additional lead vocalist Viper, Molly Kealy and Amber Flaherty as The Heart Attack Twins and dancers, and two aerial performers with Emma Dutton and Danny Golding.
There is so much to love about this show, whether it be the crude humour from host Vladmir or his ability to turn a vacuum into various objects (trust me, it is better than it sounds), to the incredible vocal performances from Onyx and Viper, everyone has their chance to shine. A highlight would have to be a stunning rendition of Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’, sat upon a giant moving hand with Viper dressed in a sheer sparkly outfit. There are also several aerial performances from Golding and Dutton that had me in awe of their physical strength and bravery.
The show really leans into the crude and gutter humour a lot. None more so with a song about sperm featuring the cast dressed as giant glowing sperm and an egg. They are accompanied on stage by more crude puppets, including a giant penis. This performance is not for everyone and got mixed reactions from the people around us. I thought it was funny but there are visuals I will just never unsee!
The puppetry of this show is not always used for crude humour and there is one performance that stole the show! A fantastic cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Just like the music video, the song opens with four heads glowing on stage. These puppet versions of Queen sang along to the lyrics in perfect time. The rendition hit overdrive when a stage dropped down from the ceiling, complete with a puppet drum kit, microphone stand, guitar, and bass, not to mention the puppet legs and torso to match the heads. There have been countless covers of this iconic song that I have experienced over the years, but none as fun, hilarious and as clever as this one! The masterful puppetry was next level and I applaud the operators behind each of them for putting on a fantastic performance!
Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour is a hell of a lot of fun! The vocals, the aerials, the sexy outfits, the shredding guitar and drumming, sexual innuendo, and gutter humour were all right up my alley. I was smiling, laughing, and dancing in my seat for the entirety show. I am honestly thankful that I finally got experience Dracula’s after all these years. If you are easily offended, this show is definitely not for you. However, if you are planning on attending, do so with an open mind and just have fun!
Performances of Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour at The Palms at Crown in Melbourne are available until the 12th of June, then the show heads to Hobart from the 23rd to 25th of June.
For more information and ticketing, visit: https://www.draculas.com.au
Photography by Ricky Craw, Newman Entertainment.