Big thanks to @@YorkshireLawMan for the picture!
So, we’ve all heard of Dracula. Haven’t we? Yes… Of course. Vampire of all vampires. Swoops about pretending to be a bat. That guy.
Despite his well known status, and the fact that as a child we went on a family holiday to the flat where Dracula was actually written in Whitby… I don’t know the story.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a faithful film adaptation. The only I can recall seeing any of is Dracula: Dead and Loving It, which as the comedy title suggests wasn’t really a line for line recreations. Nor have I read the book. I have seen the ballet, performed by the excellent Northen Ballet but even then I had to ask my sister what was going on and the lack of words and prior knowledge meant I didn’t really know who anyone was. (I had worked out who Dracula was… Point to me)!
I must admit, I entered into this with some concern. Not because I was unsure of the event like yesterday but because of the length. In total, the performance was 3 hours and as someone who had to get up at 6am this morning to get ready for work (and allow time to write this post!) the anticipation of being tired really cast a shadow over the show.
We started the show up in the dress circle, slightly over to the left. There was a swing placed to left of the stage which from our seats was difficult to see and to the couple sitting well over to the side was practically invisible. Just a small set dressing comment… A more interesting point was that the actors did not confine themselves to the stage. They often entered and exited through the stalls which certainly added an extra dimension to the performance. Again, whilst sitting in the circle this was slightly hard to see and was very confusing the first time the house lights came up to allow the actors to both see and be seen. Once we moved to the stalls for the second half we got more of the full effect, although having a half-crazed Renfield hovering behind us at one point was very unnerving? Although, I thought this was a clever feature, the lights coming in and off and the doors opening and closing was quite distracting for me. I like the lights to go down and to get absorbed in what is happening on stage rather than constantly getting pulled out.
The actors must be commended though for their performances. Aside from one or two fluffed lines they were very confident and managed to get the VAST quantity of speech out with great success. My favourite performance has to be that of Lucy. She had possessed and crazy totally down and I would not have the confidence to get up on stage in that very see through outfit.
A special mention as well to Renfield who spent most of the play on stage, laying on what looked like a very uncomfortable set during any scenes that were not his. Good for you Renfield! Very professional.
Overall, my understanding is that it was a good telling of the story, faithful to the original but don’t quote me on that. Maybe… Dracula just isn’t the story for me. Or perhaps my modern day attention span, spoiled by social media, just couldn’t process rhr long dramatic pauses.
Until the next time…