The University of Chichester gave a world-premiere performance — rehearsed and performed in a week — of writer/director Gary Sefton’s new adaptation of Dracula at The Spring.
The University of Chichester gave a world-premiere performance - rehearsed and performed in a week - of writer/director Gary Sefton’s new adaptation of Dracula at The Spring.
Sefton wonderfully – and unusually – often relies on Bram Stoker’s original dialogue. Sadly, he also embraces the conceit introduced in the 1992 Coppola film version – Dracula seeking redemption through love, a worthless modern addition that dissipates the terror and – I suspect – would be anathema to Stoker and the Count.
The weakest point in this new text is the trite rhyming narration given to the ensemble. If the piece is to live beyond this brief stay in Havant, this needs consideration.
The set, sound and staging – particularly the ensemble movement - were excellent.
The men outshone the women with particular credit to George Groom’s wonderfully impressive Renfield. Adam Stickler (Van Helsing), Dominic Birch (Seward) and Luke Barker (Harker) also work well.
Jack Hallgate as Dracula makes for a superbly disturbing figure early on, when robed and cowled, but didn’t have the gravitas to convince once the Count arrived in England.
Those cast who intend to continue into the profession must learn that showy emoting is no substitute for a solidly-mapped objective supported by truthful thought-processes.