By PHILIP CHANDLER
If you’ve not had a laugh for a while, you’re advised to see a play, Dracula — The Bloody Truth, being staged at the Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall from Thursday till Sunday.
Described as a ‘‘riotous comedy you can really sink your teeth into’’, it’s aimed at uncovering the ‘real’ events of the Dracula story, as first revealed in Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire novel.
The Queenstown actors, Sarah and Blaise Barham, Marty Newell and Nathan Cook, play 34 roles between them, including Newell playing Count Dracula and Blaise playing Dracula’s hunter, Professor Abraham Van Helsing, who engages the others to tell the tale.
‘‘There’s comedy for every age group, as the kids will love the physical theatre side of it and there’s some great wordplay as well for the adults,’’ Blaise says.
Cook adds: ‘‘This is definitely one of the most chaotic, hilarious plays I’ve ever been in, and we’re going to be having so much fun, and I think the audience will feed off that.’’
Newell: ‘‘Since February, it’s just been a really good way of getting out of reality, and because this is so out there, it’s a complete break from anything else.’’
Cook: ‘‘You will forget about all your troubles.’’
‘‘And you’ll start worrying about ours,’’ Newell quips.
Throughout the two-and-a-half hours, the actors are either playing one of several parts, frantically changing costume or moving sets.
The set’s ‘‘massive’’ for this play, Blaise says.
‘‘And we do magic,’’ Sarah adds.
Originally performed in England by a group called Le Navet Bete, its only previous New Zealand performances have been in Nelson.
In addition to these Arrowtown shows, Sahara BreeZe Productions brought it to Dunedin earlier this month, and is also bringing it to Wānaka.
The director is recent university graduate Chris Cook, the assistant director, who’s provided physical theatre tuition, is Auckland-based John Goudge and the producer’s Jordan Wichman.
Dracula — The Bloody Truth, Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall, Thursday to Saturday, 7.30pm, November 28, 2.30pm; tickets $44, plus fees, via eventfinda