Following our opening at the London Library, on Friday 8th February Terri Paddock from MyTheatreMates chaired a very special Post-Show Q&A with Dracula Adaptor Kate Kerrow, Director Helen Tennison, Creation Chief Executive Lucy Askew, and Dracula cast members Sophie Greenham and Bart Lambert.
Questions ranged from how Kate and Helen first approached Dracula, to the peculiar nightmares Bart had when he read Dracula for the first time.
Here is an extract of some of our favourite questions and answers:
Terri: What was it like playing multiple roles?
Sophie: Amazing, such a great challenge. It’s really exciting to focus on a central relationship and get to explore the different aspects of that through all the other characters. Really challenging, but really, really fun!
Bart: It was great, really fun! You bounce back and forward so you never really know where you stand which is really good.
Audience Member: What do you think Bram Stoker would think of the play?
Kate: I’m not sure, I don’t think he would love it necessarily. Bram Stoker in his lifetime would probably find it a little modern and experimental. I don’t think writers ever love having their work played around with to such an extent, so I don’t really know. I would like to think that he would enjoy the new insights into it and the fact that you can reinvent old narratives to keep them going and reflect new contexts, but who knows?
Terri: I think he might be quite surprised that we’re still reading and performing his works! He would be delighted about that because of during his lifetime he didn’t see very much financial success with his writing.
Bart: He was famously quite bad [laughs]. In the seven years in which he did Dracula he published three other books, all of which are famously awful! This is the only one that he took time to really have a go at, and it worked.
Kerri: How do you go about exploring the opportunities and challenges of a new space? What process do you use to work that out when you first come in? How long did you have to adapt it to this space?
Helen: Not long! We made a lot of site visits beforehand, and obviously Lucy and the Creation team have worked in a lot of different spaces previously. One of the first considerations was where can we put enough chairs and where can we put the speakers and the lights – it’s an incredibly difficult get-in we have to do every evening. Then I looked at how I can use this space to tell the story clearly and to differentiate areas of the story. A lot of the second act happens up on the balcony and that feels right to me because your imagination is up there and further away, where weird things happen. We had a fake window in Blackwells, so having a real window here was just perfect – one of the first things I did when I came here was climb out of the window! I was absolutely delighted! I love using space, it’s my favourite, favourite thing to use space to tell a story and consider how bodies relate to architecture and how architecture impacts on bodies. When the actors first come into the space one of the first things we do is explore the space and see how they like to use it and how the different characters fit into the space, and they each find their own amazing things.
Kerri: Do any of you believe in vampires, werewolves or any other monsters?
Kate, Helen and Sophie: No.
Bart: I’m not sure – I was walking past St. James’s Park three days ago, and I walked past a man who smiled at me and he had the longest canines I’ve ever seen, so I’m starting to believe a bit more!
Images © Peter Jones for Terri Paddock Ltd