Æ News – HATS get first bite at Makar’s Drac

Feb 1 2011 | By More

Holyrood Amateur Theatrical Society stage Lochhead’s Dracula at St Bride’s

Poster for HATS production of Dracula

By Thom Dibdin

The first production of a Liz Lochhead play since the prolific playwright and poet was made Scotland’s Makar, is to be staged at the St Bride’s Centre this week.

Dracula, first produced by the Royal Lyceum in 1985, is Lochhead’s retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire story. It is an adaptation for the stage which sticks refreshingly close to the original while grounding the whole story in a believable reality.

Calling it “an erudite revisiting of a primal myth,” The Stage commented on Lochhead’s new version, saying that it: “grapples with contemporary preoccupations: gender roles, the horrors of the 20th century, the battles between faith and reason, madness and sanity, democracy and aristocracy.”

Asked to adapt it by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Lochhead immersed herself in the book, according to her introduction to the published playscript.

“After a sleepless night,” she writes, “my hair was standing on end, what with the mad Renfield in his lunatic asylum eating flies and playing John the Baptist to his coming master… and with Lucy’s description of her ‘dream’ of flying with the red-eyed one above the lighthouse at Whitby, and Jonathan’s ‘dream’ of the three Vampire Brides’ advances upon him and of their being repelled at the last minute by the furious Dracula…

‘This was before I’d even got to the abducted children or ‘the loving hand’ of Lucy’s fiancé staking her through the heart… or that shocking rape-like bit where, with Mina’s newlywed husband Jonathan asleep in a flushed stupor by her side, Dracula, at her throat, takes his fill of her life’s-blood…

“Still, what really attracted me to the story was Rule One for becoming a vampire-victim: ‘First of all you have to invite him in’.”

Dracula plays at the St Bride’s Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, for three nights only from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th February, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £7.50 and £6 for under-18s, unwaged and seniors. They are available from the HATS ticket line 07896 198632 or the St Bride’s box office, 0131 346 1405

HATS Website
Dracula playscript available here from Nick Hern Books

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