Canal Street “Vamped” it up at a gala charity performance of this spooktacular new musical this weekend at the Opera House in Manchester as part of the Manchester Get it First initiative.
This debut musical written and produced by marketing and public relations man Jonathan Choat charts the lives and loves of young vampires Vampirette and Rudi, their story interspersed with romantic ballads, classic pop and rock anthems including California Girls, Windmills of your Mind and Down at the Club, creating a funny if a little cheesy vampire romp suitable for ghost fans of all ages, if nothing like Buffy or Twilight.
Credit should go to Choat for the work that he has done with the charity Barnardo’s; producing the charity gala and providing work experience opportunities for disadvantage young people.
Knockout performances came from Lauren Samuels (“Vampirette”, ex BBC Over The Rainbow) and Stuart Matthew Price (“Andrew Van Helsing”), sensational singing and special mention of the finale to Act 1 “Total Eclipse of the Heart” hilariously over acted and incorporating spectacular flying effects created by The Twins FX and Lighting Designer James Whiteside.
Other strong performances came from Jay Worthy (“Dr Acula”) Caroline Deverill (“Countess Zanguina”) Matthew Rixon (“Igor”) and sexy Adam C Booth as playboy club owning vampire “Rudi”.
The weakest principal cast member Norman Bowman (Stanley Pea) didn’t’ quite hit the mark at the beginning of the show, and on occasions struggled to find his light. He came into his own in the solo spot at the finale. At one point the show was stolen by the puppet Bat.
The ensemble may have benefitted from slightly more rehearsal to ensure that the choreography created by Matthew James Cole remained crisp and together, but all in all the production was imaginatively and creatively staged.
Special mention must go to the musicians skilfully led by Musical Director Matt Smith, and who really came into their own when allowed to take centre stage at the beginning of Act 2, and when not veiled behind a curtain which had a tendency to stick when it was being drawn.
All in all a crazy, camp uncomplicated and fun show which would provide a fun evening out for call the family.
Vampirette plays at the Manchester Opera House (Quay Street) until Saturday 19 May 2012 Evenings 7:30pm Wednesday & Saturday Matinees 2.30pm
AND ANOTHER VIEW..
The world premiere of Vampirette has arrived at the Manchester Opera House.
Vampirette is the blood curdling hilarious musical comedy, packed full of great songs, eye-gouging dance routines and loads of laughs throughout.
Life sucks when you’re young, but try being a vampire too, it’s a real pain in the neck! Vampi isn’t your typical vampire, she dreams of a normal life; boys, fashion and having a reflection! But she soon shows us that just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t have a life!
This new production is packed full of great rock hits, that will have you wanting to sing along and dance to the beat. The acting is superb, with some absolutely hilarious moments. The scenery is first class and it is obvious a lot of care has been put into this production. The company perform dazzling dance routines, with special effects to support them. The singing blows your breath away and really makes you sit up and pay attention, with carefully chosen well known songs to match the story.
This spooktacular musical will have you vamping it up in the aisles in no time! I would definitely award this production 5 stars and would go to see it again and again. If you don’t get spooked, they’ll certainly put a spell on you – one that will make you laugh and laugh. Book now before the tickets sell out, as this is one musical that will be a hit!
Vampirette is on at the Manchester Opera House until 19th May 2012.
Reviewed by Jamie Masterman for canal-st.co.uk