The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
March 6, 7, 8 & 9, 1996.
by Bram Stoker adapted by Liz Lochhead
Joanna Chalk – Lucy Westerman
Judith Berrill – Mina Westerman
Adrian Kenward – Arthur Seward
Derek Fraser – Renfield
Rosemary Bouchy – Dr. Goldman
Rosemary Bouchy – Mrs. Manners
Rosemary Bouchy – Nurse Grice
Rosemary Bouchy – Nurse Nisbett
Mark Flower – Drinkwater
Philip Balding – Jonathan Harker
Jane Porter – Florrie Hathersage
Bob Ryder – Dracula
John Barham – Van Helsing
Stage Manager – Dave Comber
Assistant Stage Manager – Mark Flower
Assistant Stage Manager – Briony Annison
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Dave Collis
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Dave Comber
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Frances Thorne
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Michael Davy
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Ralph Dawes
Set Design, Construction & Painting – Mark Flower
Properties – Margaret Davy
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Lighting – Trevor Langley
Sound & Original Music Composition – Lance Milton
Wardrobe – Margaret Faggetter
Wardrobe – Judith Berrill
Publicity – Judith Williamson
Theatre & Publicity Photographs – George Laye
Front of House Manager – Frank Child
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Programme Note #1: Dracula
AC wrote: “Liz Lochhead, born in Lanarkshire, currently resides in Glasgow where she began her artistic career writing poetry which was first published in 1972. She then moved into other artistic areas including song lyrics, performance pieces, raps and monologues. Her stage plays include Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off [for which she won a Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival], Blood and Ice, The Big Picture and the rhyming translation / adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe.
Her plays for television include Sweet Nothings which was screened by the BBC in 1984. She has been a writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company for a number of years.
Dracula is her eighth full length production. A radical adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale, varying only slightly fro the book. Artistically and technically Dracula is a very demanding play – a good choice for my first full-length production! However, with a good grounding from adapting one-act pieces from both the Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and the Quentin Tarantino screen play Pulp Fiction [again, both demanding pieces in different ways] and with assistance from the experienced cast, we feel it is a production to be proud of!”
Publicity #1: Dracula
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: February 23 1996 issue – page 44
Text Header: “Whose necks, please?”
IT IS back to the basics of torture, cannibalism and savage perversions for members of Wick Theatre Company at he Barn Theatre, Southwick, from March 6 to 9 at 7.45 each evening.
The company are presenting Dracula, the classic tale of horror by Bram Stoker, and will do so in its original Gothic style rather than the horror genre created by Hammer films.
The fast-moving production is a faithful adaptation by Liz Lochhead and directed by Andy Chalk, who is making his Barn Theatre debut for Wick after some successful one-act studio productions for the company. He has assembled an excellent technical team for the design, staging and effects for the show, which includes an original music score. Dracula the monster crosses Europe in search of two orphaned sisters to make them his lovers, victims and finally eternal companions among the living dead.
Review #1: Dracula
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: March 15 1996 issue – page 8
Reviewer: John Bedford
Text Header: “Wick catch a cold over lack of chill factor in Dracula”
WICK Theatre Company appeared to have bitten off more than they could chew in attempting to stage Bram Stoker’s Dracula last week. Liz Lochhead, who adapted the tale for the stage, apparently wanted to do away with the ‘fanged’ Hammer Horror slant to the story and instead restore the tragedy of the tale. She certainly achieved her goal. If this play was nothing else, it was certainly tragic.
Dracula recounts the struggle of a group of men and a woman to destroy the vampire which has already claimed the life of one man’s fiancée. The Count continues to sinisterly seduce his victim’s sister and her maid as he strides on in his terrifying quest for power. The chilling atmosphere and Gothic settings that are synonymous with tales of Transylvanian prince of darkness were sadly lacking in this production. Dry ice, eerie music and recorded wolf howls do not exactly have most people hiding behind their programmes. Granted, not all plays have to have lavish sets and multitudes of props and special effects in order to work. Many of the company’s past productions are fine examples of what can be done in the amateur theatre. But, despite the claim that this production was ‘fast-moving’, there was simply not enough going on.
The cast obviously tried hard to breathe some life into the proceedings, but, with a lot of dialogue and not enough action, it just left the audience waiting for Dr. Van Helsing to drive the stake and put Dracula and the rest of us out of our misery.
I suggest Wick Theatre Company try to find something a little more suitable to get their teeth into for their next production.