Dracula: The Travesty A Bitesize Interview Part 4

Published: 30th October 2018

Dracula: The Travesty A Bitesize Interview with David ‘Arbuthnot’ Hopper Part Four

We interviewed David ‘Arbuthnot’ Hopper this week to ask him all about his latest play Dracula: The Travesty – read on to find out more about the play and what’s next for his hilarious comedy character, Arbuthnot.

Could you tell me a little about your background?
Yes I’m originally from Consett, Co. Durham. I moved to South Shields by myself when I was 16 into a caravan. And I never looked back. I love South Shields, I love the community

How old were you when you caught the acting bug?
I was probably about 7. I played King Herod in the school nativity. A starring roll which I took very seriously ha-ha.

How did you make the transition from panto audience member to Arbuthnot alongside Ray Spencer?
I never stopped bothering Ray! The Customs House pantomime was always my goal. I did every show in South Shields I could possibly do and Ray came to see me in practically everything. He was very supportive and then he offered me a part in Jack and the Beanstalk. I was over the moon.

Arbuthnot is really established as a brilliant comedy character with a few spin off plays. What’s next for him?
Next up it will be ‘’Beauty and the Beast’ at Christmas which I’m so excited about as that’s a panto I’ve never done before. Then we will have ‘Arbuthnot and Puddles detective agency’ on in February.

How did you get involved with the Dracula: The Travesty project?
Northumberland Theatre Company asked me to audition for them after they saw me as Falstaff in Henry IV Part 1. They offered me the part and I toured Cambridge with them. They are a fantastic company to work for and I’m very honoured they have let me bring this show to The Customs House.

When did you start as a script-writer?
I started as a script writer right here at The Customs House! I’ve always enjoyed writing but I do find it very challenging but rewarding.

I understand the show is very loosely based on the original Bram Stoker Dracula story. Without giving away any spoilers, what’s it all about?
Well it is the classic tale. Jonathan Harker hunts down Count Dracula with the help of Van Helsing. But with a few twists and turns along the way. Including a beautiful performance from the three brides of Dracula!

You’ve got three actors playing 20 parts, how are you finding it learning multiple roles? Are you literally wearing many hats?
Ha ha I am! It’s a challenge to say the least. But Sophia, Alfie and I have worked very hard with voice work, physicality and characterisation to make sure all the characters have traits of their own.


A Dracula story with lots of fake blood, is the play suitable for everyone?
I think it is yes. There is no foul language or anything like that. There is just a bit of fake blood. So it’s not for the squeamish!

To end, could you describe yourself in five words?
Ooh, erm…A funny overthinking problem-solving jolly chap?

Thanks for talking with us and we wish you every success with Dracula: The Travesty.

Dracula opens here at The Customs House on Wednesday 31st October for five performances, finishing on Saturday 3rd November.

Click HERE to buy tickets