Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train
Grand Opera House, York
Friday Oct 9
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but that wasn’t the case for my fifth outing to Vampires Rock at the Grand Opera House.
Some families have a tradition of attending the pantomime every year; I go see Vampires Rock. Then again, as my partner commented, it is like watching a panto for grown-ups.
This year sees a change from the usual story as we’re transported 100 years into the future to the Ghost Train.
There are still the same cheesy jokes, dancing girls and characters, but I did feel there were large gaps in the storytelling. I would have liked to have seen the resurrection of the Baron for instance.
That said, the gaps allow some of the cast to get more involved in the singing which was, I’d say, pretty evenly shared between Steve Steinman (the Baron), John Evans (Bossley) and Victoria Jones, a vampire with an unrequited love for the Baron.
The set and location may have changed – and a lot of the playlist – but the energy and enthusiasm were still there.
You can tell it’s a new show because Bossley seemed on the verge of forgetting his lines a couple of times. But the chemistry between him and Steve Steinman remains so good that the audience really didn’t care. The lively banter more than made up for any shortfall.
Toyah still tops
The best show remains, for me, the year when Toyah Wilcox played the Vampire Queen, but I can’t put my finger on why.
My partner had never seen the show and really enjoyed it and, while I had a good time, I can’t help thinking it had lost a little of its shine.
This thought clearly wasn’t shared by the packed audience, however, who spent most of the second half on their feet, clapping away and singing loudly. They were having a whale of a time.
What I did love was the way the new story showcased the amazing voice of the extremely talented Victoria Jones. She was the highlight of the show for me.
John Evans had a much larger vocal role than in previous incarnations, playing a new character, Van Halen Helsing, the vampire hunter, but we still got to enjoy the spectacle of him clad head to toe in Lycra.
Vampires Rock mixes comedy, great rock music, a live band, pyrotechnics and a cleverly designed set to bring you something different. It’s a great evening’s entertainment whether you’re a die-hard fan like me or a vampiric virgin.
Steve Steinman will be back at the Grand Opera House in March with The Meatloaf Story and again in October with Vampires Rock. I’ll see you there!