music / Theatre

Vampire rock ‘n’ roll panto blasts Stoke away with Vampires Rock: Ghost Train

Vampires, rock, fire and blood. What more could any lover of classic rock want from a show like this? Featuring timeless classics such as Queen’s We Will Rock You, Meatloaf’s Paradise By The Dashboard Light, and Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Paradise City, this show is one for the dad generation.

Vampires Rock: Ghost Train finally landed in Stoke in its two-year tour around the UK. For one night only the people of Stoke had the chance to enjoy a classic rock story about a vampire meeting his long lost love reborn. Written, directed and starring Steve Steinman, the show really is a breed of its own and has been running for well over a decade with over 3000 live shows.

As any rock n roll fan would know the entire set list, it was nice to see some songs that I hadn’t known. Growing up under a dad whose entire music library was rock, it was hard to find a song I hadn’t heard yet. Still, I managed to sing along to at least 90% of the show.

Vampires Rock is a music lead story written and directed by the leading man himself. While the music was fang-tastic, the acting wasn’t, but this is understandable as the entire point of the show was to have a laugh and not take anything seriously. Besides, can anyone really take a panto seriously? Why would you take a panto about rock star vampires seriously?

There were plenty of laughs throughout the show, especially when the cast broke character and went into fits of giggles from what someone or other said. You only had to look at John Evans (Bosley The Janitor) and Steve Steinman and how they bounced off of each other. It’s obvious that the cast loved their show, and had a lot of fun doing it.

The ladies in black managed to execute some very cool dance moves in high heels, and applause had to be given to the aerial acrobatics and fire dancing that they performed. It added an otherworldly feeling to the vibes the show gave off, and made the entire performance more intimidating and incredible by the second.

From incredible costumes that were punk and rock styled came some interesting costume changes. We see our main girl Rocky, played by Hayley Russel, transform into a sexy vampire and go from a (sort of) white wedding dress to a black number that made her one of the gang. Some of the band even got a cool costume change, or rather, a shocking change…

Lead guitarist Niro Knox took centre stage several times to show off his amazing guitar solos, but at one point as he was playing guitar around the back of his own head he began spitting blood down his own chest. If that doesn’t shock you to the core then I don’t know what would, because I was not expecting that. It did have you sitting back for a moment to take a second to comprehend what just happened. But that’s the show! Ever surprising, and forever making you belly laugh so hard you have tears in your eyes.

While the Regent Theatre was not entirely packed, the crowd certainly was a good turn out. From the show playing the previous year in Stoke with only a handful of people in the turn out, to suddenly having a good hundred at least, it just proves how worth it the show really is. From small crowds to growing numbers, this show is going places and is one not to miss.

Ghost Train sees the vampire leader, Baron Von Rockula, fighting against his arch nemesis Vanhalen-sing, a vampire hunter who’s out to kill the Baron. But there’s a twist, who is this man? Is he all he seems to be? Well, you’ll just have to check out the show in their one stop one-night tour around the UK. Catch them while you can, before they catch you…

Vampires Rock: Ghost Train is leaving Stoke now for their last show of the year in Buxton, so there’s still a chance to see it before we dive fang-first into the New Year. Check out the Ghost Train tour here.

Permission to use images by Steve Steinman.

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