Dracula haunts the Playhouse ahead of Halloween

Experience the thrilling adaptation of Dracula by acclaimed Scottish playwright Morna Pearson, directed by Olivier award-winning director Sally Cookson.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the untamed beauty of Scotland which originally inspired Bram Stoker’s classic novel.

Liz Kettle, celebrated for her role as Queen Margaret in Adjoa Andoh’s Richard III, graces the stage once more in Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning, haunting the Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 October 2023.  

Set in a psychiatric hospital in Aberdeenshire in 1897, under the roaring thunder and buzzing lights, Dracula is played by Liz Kettle, renowned for her unforgettable performance in Adjoa Andoh’s Richard III at Liverpool Playhouse earlier this year. 

Danielle Jam (Kidnapped, National Theatre of Scotland; Scot Squad, BBC) takes on the role of Mina and she will be joined by Ailsa Davidson (Heathers the Musical, West End; Grease, UK & International Tour), who plays Lucy and Elsie. Together with Natalie Arle-Toyne (CATS Ensemble Award Rhinoceros, Lyceum Theatre; The Lost Lending Library, Punch Drunk/Imaginate) as Van Helsing and Titchy.  

Dr Seward and Georgina played by Maggie Bain (Dream, RSC; I Hate Suzie, Sky; Luther: The Fallen Sun, Netflix). Along with Catriona Faint (Enough of Him, National Theatre of Scotland) as Jonathan and Annie, alongside Anne Lacey (Earthquakes In London, National Theatre; Shetland, ITV) as Mr Swails and Bella, and Ros Watt (Godot is a Woman, Silent Faces) as Renfield and Katherine.  

Writer Morna Pearson said,  “I wanted to examine themes of our times – fear, trauma, and powerlessness – in ways the horror genre lends itself to. With Stoker drawing influence from Cruden Bay, it felt appropriate to relocate the narrative to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, exploring the area and characters I find most inspirational. There is room for more horror and stories from the North-East in theatre, so I am thrilled that my first large scale production is a bold retelling of Dracula set there.” 

Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published in 1897 and has since been adapted into numerous films and plays. Stoker himself wrote the first theatrical adaptation, which was presented at London’s Lyceum Theatre on 18 May 1897 under the title Dracula, or The Undead.

For years Dracula has been associated with Whitby and Transylvania, but recent research suggests that Aberdeenshire played a significant part in shaping the novel, and in particular Slains Castle which features an octagonal room like the one described by Stoker in Dracula’s Castle. 

Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning places the character of Mina Murray at the centre of the action. It is dripping with Morna Pearson’s distinct blend of humour, theatricality, and her taste for the shocking and the grotesque. Featuring an all-female and non-binary cast, the production celebrates the novel’s gothic horror origins while telling a unique version of Bram Stoker’s legendary tale at the Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 October. 

Tickets priced from £11 to £41, are on sale now from Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning | Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse theatres (everymanplayhouse.com) 

Image credit: Mihaela Bodlovic 

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