News Story

We are delighted to share full casting details of our new production which takes the lid off the familiar story of the world’s greatest – or worst, depending on how you look at it – vampire.

Dracula: The Bloody Truth is a co-production with Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Based (very loosely!) on the book by Bram Stoker, it’s written by one of the UK's leading touring physical comedy theatre companies, La Navet Bete, and John Nicholson, one of the co-writers of previous Octagon productions The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Time Machine.

And it’s from the same creative team that were behind last year’s SJT hits The 39 Steps and the UK Theatre Award-nominated The Comedy of Errors (more or less), a co-production with Shakespeare North Playhouse.

The show opens at the Octagon from Tuesday 11 – Saturday 29 June before travelling to Stephen Joseph Theatre from Wednesday 3 – Saturday 27 July.

Making his Octagon debut, Chris Hannon (Now Is Good, Chester Storyhouse, The Ladykillers, Oldham Coliseum), as well as familiar faces Annie Kirkman(Ladies Day, Octagon Theatre Bolton & New Vic Theatre, Ladies Down Under, New Vic Theatre), Killian Macardle (Animal Farm, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Derby Theatre & Hull Truck Theatre, Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle, Mischief Theatre) and Amy Revelle (The Time Machine: A Comedy, Park Theatre & UK tour – including the Octagon Theatre, The Possibility of Colour, Manchester tour) will be directed by Paul Robinson in a show which sees vampire hunter Van Helsing reveal the real story behind the phenomenon.

It’s 1900. Dracula, the best-selling novel by Bram Stoker, was released three years ago and Professor Abraham Van Helsing is not happy. He was there. He knows The Truth. The Bloody Truth.

And The Truth must come out. Professional vampire hunter Van Helsing has gathered a troupe of highly trained, versatile actors to tell the story of the vampire who sailed from Transylvania to Whitby – just up the coast from Scarborough – leaving a trail of destruction in his wake…

Stephen Joseph Theatre Artistic Director, Paul Robinson, will be directing the production, fresh from huge critical and audience acclaim for his three shows in 2023: The Comedy of Errors (more or less); The 39 Steps; and Christmas show Beauty and the Beast.

Paul says:“Our first summer show of last year was The 39 Steps, which was so wonderfully successful we knew it would be a hard act to follow. But when we came across the script for Dracula: The Bloody Truth we knew we’d found a worthy successor – a show we could really sink our teeth into! And as an added bonus, of course, it’s got a lovely local connection – in the original story, Count Dracula makes landfall at Whitby, just up the coast, so we (proudly?) think of him as a local boy.”

Lotte Wakeham, Artistic Director at the Octagon Theatre Bolton, added:We are excited to once again be teaming up with our friends at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, this time to present this hilarious, fast-paced, knockabout comedy. The script is from the same co-writer of our previous productions of The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Time Machine, so audiences are in for a real treat in this fresh and very funny adaptation. Forget everything you think you know about Dracula and join us for what promises to be a great night out.”

Dracula: The Bloody Truth is designed by Helen Coyston, with lighting design by Jane Laljee. The composer and sound designer is Simon Slater and movement direction is by Wayne Parsons. The wardrobe supervisor is Julia Perry-Mook. The assistant director is Jack Clearwater and the assistant musical director is Dylan Townley, Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer 2023-24. Casting is by Sarah Hughes CDG.

Dracula: The Bloody Truth rehearses at the SJT from Tuesday 7 May, playing at the Octagon Theatre Bolton from Tue 11 – Sat 29 June then at the SJT in Scarborough from Wed 3 – Sat 27 July.

Book now - from £15