The story of Dracula – this version written by Oliver Birch – is exciting, fast moving and gripping. It tells the well know story of Count Dracula and his attendant vampires using a present day perspective to look at this grim story.
Two young representatives from a law firm are sent to Romania to investigate the find of some old papers possibly relating to the disappearance of Jonathan Harker some years previously. He was thought to have disappeared after visiting the castle of Count Dracula.
The two lawyers go to the castle and with the help of the local villagers, start to investigate the papers that have been found. The papers have been found by the janitor and the villagers enter into this exercise with great enthusiasm and parts of the documents are read aloud. This enables the director – Amy Leach – to cleverly cut to the past and so scenes from the original Dracula story are then introduced. The play comes to its spectacular close with the past and the present being cunningly combined.
The cast of 60 – 70 young people who have worked together for approximately 2 weeks are superb. Their acting and sheer exuberance overwhelm this production and make it such an enjoyable experience that even a shower of rain couldn't dampen enthusiasm.
The setting of Prior Park Ball Court could not have been better or seem more appropriate. The old buildings and surroundings all help to bring the story to life.
Amy Leach's direction is excellent and has clearly driven the young cast to fulfill their potential. The set designed by Chris Gylee is simple but effective, allowing the backdrop of the ball court to facilitate the tone of the evening. The costumes designed by Liesel Corp are just right and again add to the colour and texture of the production. The lighting designed by Christopher Nairne helps to add to the atmosphere of the performances and the sound and background music by John Biddle are excellent and set the mood beautifully.
This is a production not to be missed – especially the late night showings for those brave enough to attend!