The red-brick building on the corner of Carlton’s Cardigan and Victoria Streets was an iconic staple of Melbourne’s culture.
Even if you hadn’t stepped foot in the venue, you’d have memories of the punters snaked around the building at twilight, readying themselves for a big night out.
The longstanding home of Dracula’s restaurant and cabaret theatre in Melbourne for most of its four decades of (after)life, the beloved venue entertained generations of Melburnians and travellers alike.
Born in a dark, dingy Melbourne laneway in 1980, Dracula’s became a phenomenon – best known for its scary and sensual cabaret. And after closing its doors in 2017, the team began working hard behind the scenes to figure out a new way to bring the spirit of this Melbourne icon back to the city.
It’s true what they say, legends never die and now Dracula’s is back in Melbourne…for a limited time.
The Resurrection tour brings together the best bits of Dracula’s restaurant experience in a whole new way. So whether you’re a longtime devotee ready to relive the g(l)ory days or you’re bringing in some fresh blood – there is something here for everyone.
Original cast members come together with amazing Australian talent, presenting fan favourite acts straight out of the Dracula’s vault. We’re talking sultry burlesque, incredible costumes, live music, side-splitting comedy and more. Expect nothing less than a bloody good time.
Before Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour makes its way to The Palms at Crown Melbourne later this month, we sat down with the team to get the inside scoop.
Inside the Dracula’s legacy
“It was one of those crazy gimmicks that took off. Dracula’s became packed every night for decades, and still has that gravitational pull with people.
“The original Dracula’s was located in Drewery Lane, in a dingy warehouse behind the now Melbourne Central building. Over the years, the experience evolved with cutting edge humour and a commitment to live music – still a big part of the current productions.
“The brand grew in popularity, and we eventually expanded to the Carlton location that most people know. This purpose-built theatre was constructed, complete with a now legendary Ghost Train. The first thing we had to do when we moved there was order a truck load of black paint. Our flagship Dracula’s Gold Coast venue continues the legacy, entertaining millions of guests from around the world.”
From the castle to the stage
“Our goal is to bring the spirit of the Dracula’s experience on the road.
“A live touring show is something that has been thrown around in discussions for decades. We’ve toured tourist attractions, locally and overseas, but we’ve never taken the Dracula’s brand on the road before.
“After closing the Melbourne venue in 2017, we received an overwhelming number of requests to ‘bring Drac’s back’. Then plans began to develop for the Resurrection. The production will take many original and much-loved elements of Dracula’s and present them on the big stage.”
Get ready for a show
“If you’re a Dracula’s virgin, you can expect an insane variety show, packed with amazing talent, pumping live music, cheeky laughs, and plenty of OMG moments.
“Expect mad-vampire variety, from a troupe of zombie puppets rockin’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, to a burlesque angel performing in the grips of a giant animated hand. Add in acrobats, live rock anthems, human statues, even an enormous…appendage. This is a full-on vampire variety show. Expect the unexpected.”
“One of the highlights of creating this show has been bringing together a team of such talented individuals, on stage and off.
“Over four decades, we’ve worked with such a wide variety of talented people. Our production team have been working for months to create the multitude of live production elements for The Resurrection Tour. Some original cast member are returning and the excitement is amazing.”
“You guessed it… COVID. Planning during a pandemic has had its challenges. Dates have been moved, travel plans postponed, and many things done online. It’s been challenging, but rewarding once everything falls into place.
“This is the first time we’ve produced a Dracula’s production outside of our purpose-built theatres. The logistics of touring are formidable. The all Australian cast will converge in Melbourne from around the country, and truckloads of tech gear, costumes and props have already arrived at our production facility.”
“We want to blow audiences away! There’s nothing quite like a high-energy night of variety theatre, in all its mad-arse Dracula’s style. It’s about time we all had a night out with friends, laughs, and a little bit of bite…see you at The Palms.”
Dracula’s: The Resurrection Tour will transform The Palms at Crown Melbourne from Thursday 20 May. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.com.au.