AS Dracula showed, you cannot keep a good vampire down.
So while rock and roll horror musical Vampires Rock has come to the end of the road after more than a decade of touring, it is not the end for befanged anti-hero Von Rockula and his heavy metal loving undead pals, who return in new show Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train.
"It’s the cast of Vampires, but instead of being in an abandoned church, we are in an abandoned ghost train ride in an old fun fair," producer and star Steve Steinman explained.
"We have got some excellent songs. The theme and the fun and the elements are the same, but we have these new characters and new songs, so it’s new, but it’s old.
"It isn’t broken, so I didn’t want to fix it, I just wanted to make it better. That’s what we’ve done and it’s going really well."
As in the previous show, much of the action revolves around chief vampire Baron Von Rockula (Steinman) and his attempt to ensnare a new bride.
Standing in his way is new character Van Halensing — in a nod to both the classic rock band and Dracula’s nemesis Professor Van Helsing — and the Baron’s jealous current wife.
"We’ve tried to keep the fans who love it and come every year happy, but new fans can understand what the old show was and automatically get the new one, that’s how we wrote it," he said.
"My wife and myself also do all the promotion and booking. We do it in house because we’ve had other people do it before, but they don’t have the same passion.
"It would be nice somestimes to sit off stage and make some notes, but I’m doing that all while I’m on stage, working out what doesn’t feel right and changing things here and there. We’re about there now. We’ve done 15 to 20 shows and we’re pretty much there."
As with the original Vampires Rock, which made its first appearance back in 2004, Ghost Train combines an original storyline with familiar rock hits sourced from the likes of Guns ’n’ Roses, Queen and many more popular rock acts.
Not all the songs are new, however.
Steinman, whose showbusiness beak came when he appeared as Meat Loaf on ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes, says he cannot imagine ending a show without Bat Out of Hell.
"You have got to keep some, but there’s probably only about two or three from the old show," he said.
"We’ve found equivalents or even better rock anthems that will fit the storylines. We do Holding Out For a Hero, but it will probably take you five minutes to work out what it is. We’ve changed quite a few songs like that to make them our own."
• Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train is at the Empire Theatre, Eden Court, on Thursday 19th November.