“Dance Of The Vampires” based on a film by Roman Polański “The Fearless Vampire Killers” is eventually to be seen in Warsaw’s music theatre Roma; 8 years after its first performance in Vien.
The play, directed by Cornelius Baltus, is set in XIX-century Transylwania. An elderly scientist, professor Abronsius and his young student-assistant Alfred come to a village loaded with garlic, while seeking for vampires. In the inn, where they stop for a night, Alfred meets a beautiful daughter of the owners, Sarah, whom he fells in love with. Unfortunately he is not the only one. His rival is count Krolock, the master of a nearby castle, and a vampire, who can release the girl from her parents and give her the freedom she is dreaming of. The rest of the plot focuses on a struggle to rescue Sarah from the vampires and to escape from their ill-fated world.
The movie, being merely a black-humour comedy, differs much from the musical, which presents some serious dilemmas. The heroin is maturing and no longer wants to obey her parents. She must also meet a choice between safety and passion. And the vampire’s count suffers because of his immortality, which deprives him of any hope for a better future. This actually makes him the main character of the play. Łukasz Dziedzic is brilliant in this role and convincing in the shaken emotions he portrays throughout. The same relates to all the other actors, including Robert Rosmus as professor Abronsius, with his perfect diction and phenomenally wide range of voice.
Despite of a few earnest scenes, most of the musical is humorous in a grotesque convention. One of the most remarkable characters is that of Herbert, Krolock’s gay son, who is very seductive with Alfred. Talking about “The Dance Of The Vampires”, one must not forget about music. Jim Steinman has wonderfully composed parts of modern techno and rock tracks with some classical sequences. Also the main music theme “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”, a famous hit sung by Bony Tyler and composed by the same artist some time before, suits the play extremely well. The overall good impression is completed with a variety of special effects, like this of a mirror reflecting living people, but not the vampires. The musical is worth seeing also for one electrifying scene, when the vampires appear in different places among the audience and sing a song of terror and despair in half-lit theatre hall.
Although it may not, because of its grotesque character, be a classic of its kind, it is well worth seeing. I would recommend it to all maturing girls and boys, their parents and all other vampire-lovers who want to experience a tale of passion and have some laugh and fright at the same time.