Dracula at the New Vic a review by Sallie Tams
Satisfyingly Gothic!With its friendly and welcoming staff it is always a pleasure to attend The New Vic Theatre in Newcastle-under-Lyme and my visit to see Bram Stoker’s Dracula adapted by Theresa Heskins was no exception. I had thoroughly enjoyed her adaptation of The Borrowers so I was very interested to see what she would do with Dracula.
From the very start of the performance the intimacy of theatre in the round is enhanced by the masterful sound effects and atmospheric lighting. Bringing Foley techniques from the world of film and television, three ‘laboratories’ are located high up in the audience and from here cast members deliver elements of narration and amazing range of totally realistic and often chilling live sound effects.
Scene changes are swift and seamless, which in a story involving so many different locations is no mean feat and yet it was achieved with a very Spartan set which makes much use of trapdoors to deliver prop changes. Despite this minimalism, attention to detail was very evident from the flickering lights in the laboratories to the myriad test tubes, beakers and weird looking glass bottles. The whole effect is satisfyingly Gothic.
The performance of the Brides and the young Count, are stunningly good—a beautiful combination of aerial athleticism and sensuality, quickly turning to horror as the Brides swoop to devour their prey or the young Count descends to hover forebodingly above Mina and Lucy.
Jack Klaff creates a marvellously sinister Count Dracula, brooding and ominous and in her professional debut as the doomed Lucy, Jasmine Blackborow is exceptional. Sarah Schoenbeck as Mina is convincing with her desperate plight for survival and Isaac Stanmore as Jonathan Harker is the perfect mix of wide-eyed naivety on his arrival at Castle Dracula to tortured soul riven by dark longings and madness during his captivity.
Overall this is an ambitious production and one that does not disappoint.
Dracula runs to 4 April, to watch the trailer and to book tickets click this link: http://www.newvictheatre.org.uk
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