The Fellowship Players served up a Halloween classic in the run up to the 31 October. Bram Stoker's Dracula, adapted for the stage by Hamilton Deane and John L Balderston, is the chilling tale of the blood-sucking count.
The stage adaptation is incredibly compressed, with certain characters entirely removed from the plot. We are immediately introduced to Doctor Seward, who runs a mental institute in the English countryside. His daughter, Lucy, begins waking up pale, cold and void of energy, he turns to Van Helsing for help to solve the mystery. Numerous blood transfusions don't help and with two pin prick like marks on her neck, Helsing may already know the answer.
Van Helsing was played with utter conviction by Sam Evans, there was solid support from Dale Roberts who excellently played the crazy and demented Reinfield, as well as Alan Lowe's creepy Dracula. Frances Corbett took on the role of Lucy, her character didn't have much chance to really grow, but her screams were blood-curdling. There was also a little comic turn from Gerald Joyce as the hapless Mr Butterworth.
The final scene plunged the theatre into darkness, with just oil lamps giving flickers of light. The heightened atmosphere and clever use of all entrances and exits, helped the audience to feel part of the action. The sound design was cleverly used to further build tension and it was clear that the group had worked extremely hard on bringing this gothic classic to life. All in all, it was a spooky evening that offers something a little bit different this Halloween.
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