Deacon the Vampire Live! – One Hundred And Ninety Years Of Bullshit

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

23/05/2023 - 27/05/2023

NZ International Comedy Festival 2023

Production Details

Join Deacon The Vampire as he attempts to conjure his long-dead ex-girlfriend back to life – it might be sexy but it won’t be pretty.

From the international cult classic comedy film, What We Do In The Shadows, leaps Deacon the Vampire with a night of macabre sexy storytelling and erotic sexy dancing.

Price: $20 – $25
Time: 7PM

Comedian – Jonny Brugh

Comedy , Theatre , Solo ,

50 minutes

Fangs for the memories: a deeply funny, horny, murdery, bloody good time

Review by Emma Maguire 24th May 2023

As a self-identified ‘vampire connoisseur’, I’ve been hankering to see this show ever since the Comedy Festival lineups got announced. Jonny Brugh is back playing his iconic character Deacon the vampire from 2013’s What We Do in the Shadows for an hour long solo show about love, lust, and dear departed souls.

Deacon fell in love with Madame Lucy, a cabaret performer – but he lost her to the sea sometime in the 1930s, and that loss is still clearly very felt. Brugh weaves us a story of Deacon’s early years, from his childhood living in poverty and escaping by becoming a “Russian box salesman”, of his sister Marrionetta, of his forays into hedonism and bisexuality, and then his change into a vampire.

The whole piece resolves(?) with an audience-led seance and some dramatic “holy water” throwing, though Deacon perhaps learns that love does not necessarily come from idolising a stage performer and having a sexy fumble in a public toilet.

Brugh’s physical performance is incredible, with some of the strongest mime work I’ve ever seen, fully embodying the range of characters within it, sometimes even just with a certain head tilt or raised eyebrow. I love a show with idiosyncratic humour and stepping beyond the norm, and this work certainly does that. (Somehow both shows I saw last night included bits about having sex with baguettes.)

The show bounces between the hilarious and the macabre, with Deacon having to take breaks from certain ~heated~ moments to sip blood and lounge sensually across the one chair in the centre of the stage. We’re even treated to some of the erotic dancing last seen in the film, which is so erotic and quite hilarious.

It is worth mentioning – in alignment with both the What We Do in the Shadows movie and USA television version (available in NZ on Neon) – that Deacon the Vampire isn’t necessarily a laugh-out-loud show the entire time. It’s deeply funny, but it’s also darker than most of what the Comedy Festival provides, so do yourself a favour and read the pre-show warnings so you’re not blindsided by the performance within. It’s horny, murdery and certainly not your usual.

Fangs for the memories, Deacon. I had a bloody good time.


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