It was Saturday night, we were in Bournemouth and we, well I really, were a little trepidatious. You see, we were going to see Steve Steinmans “Vampire Rocks” and we really didn’t know what to expect.
I’d seen the posters, visited the website but that doesn’t prepare you for the show. Even, while waiting to enter the auditorium, studying the audience as they entered the Pavilion Theatre foyer does not give any clues. I’ll admit to be a little concerned when I saw a guy, that must have been in his seventies, pushing one of those three wheeled zimmer frame contraptions. He must be a regular as the lady behind reception spoke to him like an old friend and was warning him that it was going to be loud. Obviously some of the audience had been to see Mr Steinman before as they were wearing costumes that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Hammer Horror movie. And there were kids there too.
We were soon seated, the band took their places and we were off. Driven into the backs of our seats, like the old Memorex tapes advert from the seventies. The show also got off to a flying start, literally. The flying carried out by Steve Steinmans radio mic, presumably caught in his long coat, which was whipped out of his hand as he made his dramatic entrance. Once the mic was retrieved the show, which had spluttered a little in first gear suddenly went into overdrive.
Very soon feet were tapping and we were all clapping along. With Steve Steinmans able leadership we were treated to many classic rock rock anthems which included Queens “We Will Rock You”, T’paus “China in your Hand”, Bonnie Tylers “I Need A Hero”, Europes “The Final Countdown” and The Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” just to name a few.
It’s really hard to categorise the show. We have previously experienced “Rocky Horror…” and also Draculas in Queensland. It’s a bit of each of them but it is much more. Vampires Rocks is a cross between a rock concert (featuring a covers band), a musical show and a pantomime. Should Steve Steinman ever read this, despite what he said on the night, it really is a bit like a pantomime. We had the villain, the virginal heroine, the faithful servant who becomes a hero but most of all we had the audience interaction including the “behind you” moment. Most of all we were treated to the lightening fast adlibs and responses to the heckling.
Since most of the action takes place in the Live And Let Die Club I guess I shouldn’t forget to mention the pyrotechnics, the sexy costumes and the cage dancing which does set this show apart from your average panto.
The show is first and foremost about the music which tells the story, loosely tied together by moments of theatre, an evening of entertainment combining burlesque, contemporary music and comedy.
Highlight of the evening, well one of them, was when, to AC/DCs “Hells Bells”, we were treated to a display of aerial silk acrobatics.
Lowest moment of the evening was during Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child Of Mine”, not one of my favourites anyway, but we were treated to the most appalling guitar solo I have ever heard.
Most bizarre moment was when the main character Count von Rockula has been shot with a crossbow by Van Halensing. A member of the audience decided to join in and offered Coun Von Rockula an NHS Crutch !!!
All in all though, a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We had tears of laughter and our ears were ringing for quite some time after leaving the theatre.
NB: Another draft, long overdue for publishing. The show was back in March 2019.