In an amusing fit of meta-theatre, Gaddas romps on stage as himself, claiming that in the interval between gigs in television series such as Emmerdale and Hollyoaks he had gathered a crew to research the truth behind Count Dracula, who may have been a real person according to the notes by author Bram Stoker that have recently fallen into the actor’s hands.
The speculation is that Dracula may have been more of a historical record than a novel. By slipping in and out of characters, Gaddas tells parallel tales – of the novel Dracula and of the increasingly disturbing quest for the truth behind it.
It’s a smart conceit and he manages to keep it bubbling with the help of John Bulleid’s illusions, Jeremy Swift’s soundscape and Matthew Karmios’ lighting.
His own performance ranges from cosying up to the audience via references to Corrie and other soaps to full blown dramatic sequences such as one involving Dracula’s dying, broken assistant Renfield.
One-man shows rarely sustain more than an hour of our attention.
This is an exception.
Dracula on UK Tour until April 10 Tickets: draculatheplay.com