Retro Vampt was expected to bring big hair, big hits and big entertainment to the Gold Coast stage, and that it did. With hype built up over teasing Instagram posts on the Draculas feed, this was set to be an enjoyable evening with a show unlike anything they’ve brought to the stage before.
Beginning with a gathering outside of the Broadbeach location and joined by the ghoulishly creepy waiters and waitresses as they lurk around the entrance building discomfort, laughs and enjoyment amongst the waiting crowds. Depending on your seating reserve, B reserve was ushered in on the right and A reserve on the left with a special Draculas style lanyard – the men were given bottle openers and the ladies a glitzy necklace. It was then that we were led in to the first leg of the entertaining evening.
Walking into a big room mirroring that of a deep grave, the ceiling was alive with an animated movie. As bones and roots jutted out from the walls the picture on the ceiling began to speak. With the full moon high in the sky and views of the house that we were being buried under, ‘friends’ and vampires gathered to wish us away and warn us of the trouble ahead. This 4D cinematic short combined a sensual experience as ‘dirt’ and water was sprayed across the gawking crowd. As the screen is fitted on the ceiling, it requires you to crank your head upwards and if you have neck problems, I’d advise you just listen and enjoy.
Continuing further into the vampire lair we were led to our pre-dinner canapés and drinks. Handed a glass of champagne upon our arrival we were treated to snack size treats of popcorn, sweet potato crisps and Thai chicken balls to name a few. After being ushered upstairs we were free to lounge, purchase a drink or continue straight into the theatre via the Ghost Train. The decadently ornamented room was filled with taxidermy, a hanging body and glass coffins built into the floor, setting the theme for this twisted night.
Lining up for the Ghost Train we were arranged in front of a green screen to pose for a Draculas themed photo. As our group was quite large – there were 16 of us – we had to squish and squeeze to all fit in the one frame. Following the snap we descended down the stairs and were ushered onto the train in pairs to reach the theatre. Though the ride was short it proved to be quite the fright. There were sharp turns, eerie music and alarming hands emerging from the darkness, and after a few squeals and screams we arrived at the theatre.
The VIP seats are located on the upper tier and provide a grandstand type view of the stage. Seated in 6-person booths we were greeted by our waitress, Arabesque, who was eager to take our drink orders. With a range of beverages on the menu from basic spirits, beer, wine and soft drink to elaborate cocktails served in giant fish bowls, you can indulge yourself or take it slow. To allow the kitchen enough time to prepare our meal we were quickly asked to order. There were five mains to choose from; Chicken Kiev, Beef Goulash Brioche, Pork Normandy, Salmon Princess and Vegetarian Gnocchi Florentine. The winner for the evening was the Chicken Kiev with a potato rosti and coleslaw.
Entrée was an arancini ball with napoli sauce and dessert was white Russian cocktail mousse served in a dark chocolate coffin drizzled with salted caramel sauce. All of the meals were served and cleared in record time while the resident vampires treated our ears to some enjoyable 70’s tunes to pass the time.
As the lights dimmed and excitement built, the show began with an enjoyable 70s montage. With the likes of YMCA and Mamma Mia lip-synced in front of an interactive screen, the mood for the evening was set as laughter erupted and applause echoed.
We don’t want to give too much away as you need to see this incredible show for yourself but the opening number and introduction was an enjoyable way to begin the evening. With vocals to write home about, costumes with enough glitz to blind you and musical skills set to wow, Draculas Retro Vampt surely delivered.
There were two stand out performances in the evening; the first of which was the Rocky Horror Picture Show tribute. The seven eccentric vampires set the bar high with the aim to perform the entire story of this 70s hit musical in under 6 minutes. With costume changes, set shuffles and speedy renditions of each song, they time warped their way through the story to finish with a bang. The second highlight for the evening was their take on Queen’s iconic Bohemian Rhapsody. We all know and love the expensive film clip that fascinated fans then and now, but this take on the popular song was creative, clever and captivating. The curtains opened to four floating puppet heads beginning the first lines of the song as they move in choreographed unison against a black backdrop. Come the build up of the song, the stage was built as the bodies of the puppets arranged in a band formation dropped from above. Combining entertaining puppetry with great music and humour, this was one performance that the whole crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
The new show definitely didn’t forget to include that well-known Draculas humour, with two of the show’s resident vamps carrying the crowd throughout the night. Performers Richard Macionis and Rudi Testa are to be applauded for their hilarious and captivating skits between acts. Performing a role call of the sorts to involve the audience, they went through their list to see where the crowd has hailed from. With a bunch locals and interstate visitors in the house as well as internationals from Japan, China, Spain, the UK and the US, but the majority of the audience was filled with our friends from across the ditch, the New Zealanders. Their insulting humour was embraced and welcomed by the crowds as the audience members in the front section were involved – or more to the point, picked on – in good faith.
The rest of the evening was filled with delightful singing, aerial acrobatics, epic guitar riffs and a handful of jokes, though some in bad taste, were quite hilarious.
The million-dollar refurbishment of the theatre and entire Draculas house was a success. With the new décor and show on display it is a definite must-see for visitors to the Gold Coast. Combining great vocals, choreographed routines, acrobatics and entertainment this is the perfect recipe for a great evening.
In addition, if you’re looking for things to see and do around the Gold Coast, be sure to check out our catalogue page featuring a range of tours, activities and attractions around the region.