NOT a whiff of garlic - no Gothic stake-holders in the wings ... welcome to Dracula as you've never seen or heard him before.

The ever-inventive theatre company Imitating A Dog and Leeds Playhouse have sent something wicked this way to the Liverpool Playhouse in a clever, visually-stunning experience.

Dracula: the untold story, written by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks, is a live, graphic novel brought to the stage using backdrop projections, mounted digital cameras and creative ingenuity of the highest order.

Wirral Globe:

Production photograph by Ed Waring

It is a trademark of Imitating The dog who have brought us in the past the critically-acclaimed shot-by-shot Remix adaptation of the classic movie Night of the Living Dead.

They work hard and so, too, do the audiences. Indeed, they've been going 23 years and love a challenge.

Your attention is demanded by many things occuring on stage and shifting to screen at any one time.

Wirral Globe:

Production photograph by Ed Waring

This is a detective story of sorts set in the 1960s (which explains the sixties hits played as you enter the venue) in a three-hander aided by plenty of thought-provoking themes on the very nature of evil.

Would Bram Stoker be turning in his grave? (now there's a thought).

I don't think so as his blood-obssessed creation has been interpreted so many times over the years from the Hammer Horrors to Carry On Screaming.

Wirral Globe:

Production photograph by Ed Waring

This refreshing, deadly serious and scary version of the original does take a wee while to get into its stride but once you follow the line of questioning it all starts to become more deliciously lucid as we see the tale from Mina Harker's perspective.

She is our storyteller.

It's 1965 New Year's Eve and Mina (Riana Duce) enters a London police station to confess a brutal murder to two shaken police officers played by Adela Rajnovic and Matt Prendergast.

Mina claims to be a member of the group who brought about Count Dracula's destruction some 70 years earlier.

Wirral Globe:

Production photograph by Ed Waring

This is a global murder investigation like no other.

At one hour and 50 minutes (including an interval) the show gathers pace before and after the break leading to a blood splattered, roller-coaster ending where the case is solved ... or is it?

Globe verdict: Count me in

Four stars

The production is on until Saturday.

Tickets from 0151 709 4776