Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, there will be an additional performance of Dracula at 2.30pm this Saturday 3 November. Tickets available from Giant Olive.
Many of the best horror stories are about more than horror. Dracula is one example. When Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897, the gothic horror novel tapped into the contemporary fears of English society; fears about the coming end of Empire and fears that women in Victorian England were becoming more than (male) society said they should be. Stoker, being Irish and so an outsider to England, was perfectly placed to write a horror story that so directly tapped into the fears that he had observed in the English psyche. After all, one of the main thrusts of the story of Dracula is the idea of a swarthy foreigner coming in and ‘corrupting’ British women, enticing them to live out their forbidden desires and temptations.
In her adaptation, Liz Lochhead explores and expands on many of Stoker’s ideas, and introduces ones of her own which work for a modern audience, specifically expanding the story revolving around Renfield. In particular, she chooses to expand on the role of women in Victorian England and the barriers they faced in a male-dominated society. And so we see Mina and Lucy battle their emotions and desires – torn between what is right and proper, and what they really want to do…
Surrounding all these sociological explorations is a great chilling horror story, and one iconic character whose icy-cold fingers touch everything we see (or read): Dracula. Dracula is not the world’s original vampire but he is the most famous, and his impact has been felt throughout the past century right up to today. Vampires hold a fascination – they’re immortal and so is their popularity. Vampires are resurrected for every generation in guises that befit the needs of the time. Vampires in 2012 are misguided lost souls who are in need of understanding and rescue. Bram Stoker’s Dracula at the time was something totally different.
What was great about directing this production was that we created our own version, vision and impact of a vampire. I will be in trouble for saying this, but vampires are evil – no matter what the Twilight generation may believe, they are not quietly brooding misunderstood people who just have bad moods and can be changed by the love of a good woman. For all vampires, ‘the blood is the life’. Vampires are eternally complex creatures, however, as they are not just fathomless evil. As Van Helsing says of Dracula: ‘Whose victim was he?’
Alan’s last acting stint with KDC was in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, playing another bad egg. Since then he’s been exercising his despotic tendencies by directing Ubu Rex and co-writing The War of the Waleses. Only with other companies do they let him play nice people, like St Peter in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with Sedos and loads of other stuff. Who cares what I’ve done, really? Here’s a recipe for salad dressing instead: ground nut oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, lemon juice. Not suitable for vampires.
Jimi spent his innocent years performing with The St Albans Youth Music Theatre where he learnt to crack his knuckles, knit a scarf, and hide behind synchronised dancers. Now in his wild years, he can be found singing and playing guitar in rock ‘n’ roll band The Red Zoids and acoustic covers collective The Ja Danketies. A scriptwriter and occasional online columnist, he has written articles as diverse as “The Top Twelve Non-Existent Sequels” and “How To Get Rid of a Badger”. Dracula is his first outing with KDC.
This is William’s sixth show in London since moving here what seems like only a month ago. When not defying time and space, he has recently played Prince Charles in The War of the Waleses and Konstantin Levin in Anna Karenina. He is also working on a short film about Doctor Who.
Chris was a stage regular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Acting roles included Dad in Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations , Pozzo in Waiting for Godot, Rev Parris in The Crucible and Palamede in Marriage à la Mode (all Durham Unversity Theatre), various productions with Crates improvised theatre group, Harold in Spring and Port Wine (South London Theatre), The Tree in The Singing Ringing Tree (Various London Parks) and Buttons in Cinderella (Zurich Comedy Club). He also directed two productions, Dear Brutus and British Backs Against The Wall, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and ran the musical programme at the inaugural London International Festival of Theatre. After taking a break for around 25 years to pursue other interests, he returned as Frederick in Enchanted April and Governor Philip/John Wisehammer in Our Country’s Good, both at South London Theatre. This is his KDC debut.
Although Dracula is his first show for a couple of years, Marcus first trod the KDC boards way back in 2000. His debut was as the title character in Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, and as a man who grew up a few miles (and a few years) away from Bram Stoker in Dublin it is nice to be doing something Irish(ish) again. Sadly, Marcus’s years in England have taken their toll on his Rs and he regularly has to remind himself that Dracula was written by Bram Stoker, not Bram Stokah. As well as acting, Marcus was also KDC Treasurah for a number of years, retiring from this role (coincidentally) shortly before the global financial system blew up.
Mark has been in several KDC shows and is excited to be playing this diverse range of roles. Well known within the industry for his characterisation of accents, Mark has been working tirelessly to extend his repertoire. No rock has been left unturned but some questions still remain; what does Qwerty prefer… breast or leg, and what is Drinkwater really thinking? Enjoy.
Anna is batty about amdram and has been dying to sink her teeth into this dark play for centuries. She’s really stuck her neck out to get some vampire puns into this but she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Which sucks. But that’s no reflection on her acting skills. She hopes you enjoy the show as her reputation is at stake. No coffin’, please.
This is Catherine’s first production with KDC. A graduate of LAMDA, she has performed in numerous stage and screen productions, including a short film that was nominated and screened at The Raindance Film Festival. She makes her television debut later this year in Downton Abbey’s Christmas special on ITV and will soon start rehearsals for the Fourth Monkey Theatre Company’s Edinburgh Fringe and London seasons. As a writer, Catherine’s play Snapshot was performed at the Soho Theatre after winning a young writers’ competition.
Kate has actually now lost count of how many productions she’s been involved with with KDC, but suffice to say she’s into double figures. Previous roles include Beatrice Joanna in The Changeling, Natalie in Disappeared, Dr Brodsky in A Clockwork Orange, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale and Bartley McCormick in The Cripple of Inishmaan.
Su came to acting a few years ago through singing in amateur opera productions, and later studied acting at the London Centre for Theatre Studies and City Lit. Previous roles include Lucetta in The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the Cheltenham Rococo Players, Puck in Sedos’s office-based setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a priest in Murder in the Cathedral with CP Theatre Productions. Playing five different roles in Dracula has been an entertaining challenge.
Fiona joined KDC Theatre as an ASM for Duncan’s production of Much Ado About Nothing in 2008 and happily joins his team again. She has directed, designed and operated lighting and sound, stage managed and occasionally acted for several theatre companies in London. She has worked on shows for the Edinburgh Fringe and Camden Fringe. She is currently Technical Director for KDC Theatre.
Dracula at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town, 30 October – 2 November 2012
Tickets for the KDC production of Dracula is on at The Lion & Unicorn, Kentish Town in Halloween Week, from 30 October to 3 November.
Book tickets here.
Thank you to all those who auditioned and congratulations to the cast. Next KDC auditions will be after the summer for the to-be-announced winter season.
Dracula Cast and Crew
Director – Duncan Moore
Producer – Sally Wilks
Assistant Director – Steph Urquhart
Mina Westerman – Anna Marx
Lucy Westerman – Catherine Kolubayev
Florrie Hathersage – Kate Moore
Nurce Nisbett/Grice – Su Vigus
Jonathan Harker – Jimi Odell
Doctor Arthur Seward – William Baltyn
Count Vlad Dracula – Alan Maddrell
Van Helsing – Chris Stooke
Renfield – Marcus Mollan
Drinkwater – Mark Ewins
First round auditions for Dracula will be held on the 12th and 13th of June at the St Brides Foundation (details on our venues page). Please come along on whichever day suits you best and arrive at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. We’ll be finished by 9pm.
Recalls are by invitation only and will be held at the Hoop and Grapes. They’ll start at midday and will end around 4pm. You’ll be called in the week if the director would like to see you at the recalls.
Remember, auditions are free and you don’t need to bring a headshot or prepare anything in advance. Just come along and have fun!
30 October – 3 November 2012 (auditions 12 & 13 June 2012)
Auditions at St Bride’s Foundation. See our venues page for address and map.
Count Dracula is one of the world’s most famous literary creations. Bram Stoker’s novel has inspired and spawned many adaptations.
Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s current National Poet, adapted the novel for the stage in 1985. To write her adaptation, she immersed herself in Stoker’s book.
We will be leaving Hammer Horror behind with this production. Bar a couple of major character changes, Lochhead’s adaptation sticks fairly close to Stoker’s novel. Therefore there will be plenty of blood and chills but more importantly we have a great story to tell and great complex characters to be played.
In the introduction to her script Lochhead wrote on reading Stoker’s original:
“After a sleepless night 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.
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’”
Those involved in the Summer Season can audition for Dracula, the first show in the Winter Season.
- Mina Westerman – Mina is strong, assertive, protective and loyal. Mina fights for progressive attitudes towards women and class, while at the same time being concerned about protecting her role and her family’s role in society. She is far stronger and braver than she knows. (Female, 20s)
- Lucy Westerman – Mina’s younger sister, “dreaming her young girl dreams” Lucy, even though not a child, has a fresh innocent childlike quality to her, though her topics of conversation are often anything but childlike. She is vivacious and flirtatious. Also plays Vampire Bride 3. (Female, 18-25)
- Florrie Hathersage – Westerman’s new maid. “She is very pretty and just a little nervous”. Florrie is counsel to both sisters throughout the story. She also has her own story – the ‘downstairs’ part of the play to the Westerman’s ‘upstairs’ story. Also plays Vampire Bride 2. (Female, 18-30)
- Nurse Nisbett / Nurse Grice – one actress playing two very different nurses who work at Bedlam. One nurse is a sadist the other a masochist. Also plays Vampire Bride 3. (Female, 25-40)
- Jonathan Harker – A solicitor, keen to impress. An English gentleman (still wet behind the ears) from a public school. Naïve. Has to find strength to survive. (Male, 20-30)
- Doctor Arthur Seward – A talented doctor, formerly Van Helsing’s pupil. Strict but fair. Married to his job, loves it and lives for it. Is, without his knowing, a romantic at heart. Has to battle his scientific beliefs and values against those of superstition and vampires. (Male, 28-36)
- Count Vlad Dracula – a role that is impossible to describe in just a few words. The actor playing Dracula will need a lot of stage presence as well as the guts to take on, and not be scared by, the role and the audience’s pre-conceived ideas. The actor will need to be able to do/learn an Eastern European accent. (Male, any age)
- Van Helsing – A Dutch professor, described by his former pupil Dr. Seward as “a philosopher and metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientists of his day.” Not fearless but knows that fear is to be respected and must be confronted. Again presence is very important for this role. The actor will need to be able to do/learn a Dutch accent. (Male, 40 +)
- Renfield – A patient in bedlam. “He rocks back and forth, he sometimes catcalls and chants. He is presently gabbling manically.” This is not a comic role (it’s often played as comic relief). A very intense role. Again it needs an actor that is not scared of taking on such an iconic character from Dracula mythology. The actor will need a lot of energy and stamina. (Male, any age)
- Orderly Drinkwater – a silent role. An orderly at Bedlam and perhaps the only sane person there. Drinkwater is silent for a reason not because the character is a small role. (Male or female, 25-40)