BLOODY GOOD FUN
DRACULA'S UNVEILS TRANSFUSION
F USING circus and theatre into one bloodthirsty, side-splitting production, Dracula’s new show, Transfusion, includes an aerialist for the first time.
The family behind the renowned Gold Coast cabaret theatre and restaurant – John Newman and his three children, Paul, Marc and Haydie – have been working hard this week to put the finishing touches to their ‘‘best show yet’’.
Haydie Newman, Transfusion’s director, says the new show represents Dracula’s evolution during the past 32 years.
‘‘We have been going for a long time. With a product like ours, it’s good to keep slightly tweaking it each time,’’ she says.
‘‘This is the first time we have had (an aerialist). We have flown people through the room on harnesses, but with our limited knowledge of it we have previously kept it small and contained. So now we are tilting towards Cirque du Soleil horror style – it’s so pretty but you can evil it up so quickly.’’
Haydie says the title Transfusion was derived from a few revamped ‘‘old gimmicks’’.
‘‘For example, we are doing Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf, but we are using every aerial aspect of the room,’’ she says.
‘‘We have got one of the guys flying upside down on a harness playing guitar, we have Charne playing piano suspended in midair on a platform while Rudi is harnessed from the roof singing the song and our drummer is playing from behind, up in the air on a harness. It’s been so hard to rehearse.
‘‘It’s been the bane of my life for the last few weeks. But it will be the highlight of the show. Your eyes don’t know where to look.’’
Haydie says Transfusion will also include Dracula’s trademark topical local references.
‘‘Richard is lowered in from a chain on the roof as if he is being flown in by a helicopter, and we were saying as he gets dropped off, it needs to be by someone topical,’’ she says.
‘‘So this morning it was Julia Gillard. Every night he will change that depending who is on the front page of the Bulletin. We allow a lot of artistic licence and freedom as far as topical comedy goes.‘‘(Local girl) Megan Barry-Cotter, who is absolutely beautiful, is our aerialist. She has been fabulous to work with because we are learning so much about the circus side of things,’’ Haydie says.
‘‘We welcome back Rudi Testa, who has always been a favourite of ours, and Riely Saville, who is the most amazing dancer I have ever come across. She has most recently danced with Kanye West.’’
Haydie says Dracula’s ongoing success is partly due to the fact staff are treated like they are part of the Newman family.
‘‘Our chef just celebrated 20 years with us. He met his wife here in the box office and they have two little boys. We have all grown up together I guess,’’ she says.
‘‘We have these amazing staff meetings at the start of the night where everyone sings and gets really pumped before we open the doors. At the moment we’re singing We Run
the Night. This is what we do and it works really well for managers, floor staff, kitchen staff – everybody. They are all in the right frame of mind before the doors open – that’s how we keep it moving.
‘‘We are so passionate about what we do. We absolutely love it. It’s our baby. It’s our life.’’
Transfusion plays Dracula’s Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6.30pm.
– Picture and cover photo: GLENN HAMPSON
Transfusion’s Megan Barry-Cotter (as Jester), costume designer Jayne Newman and Riely Saville (Showgirl).