Acclaimed poet and playwright Liz Lochhead’s Dracula stays refreshingly close to Bram Stoker’s classic novel.
Asked to adapt it by the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, she immersed herself in the book. ‘After a sleepless night,’ she writes in the Introduction, ‘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…
‘This was before I’d even got to the abducted children or “the loving hand” of Lucy’s fiancé staking her through the heart… or that shocking rape-like bit where, with Mina’s newly-wed husband Jonathan asleep in a flushed stupor by her side, Dracula, at her throat, takes his fill of her life’s-blood…
‘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.”‘
Liz Lochhead’s stage adaptation of Dracula was first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in 1985.
Ideal for schools and drama groups, this Dracula is all the more chilling for the respect it shows for Stoker’s original nightmare creation.
‘Despite remaining faithful to Bram Stoker’s original, Lochhead’s version grapples with contemporary preoccupations: gender roles, the horrors of the 20th century, the battles between faith and reason, madness and sanity, democracy and aristocracy… an erudite revisiting of a primal myth’
— The Stage