BWW Review: DRACULA: THE UNTOLD STORY, Liverpool Playhouse

One would assume that beyond the original novel and the over 200 films made in his honor, there isn’t much left to explore surrounding the story of Bram Stoker’s most iconic villain. Yet in real life Mimicking Dog fashion, the innovative theater company breathes new life into traditional storytelling, proving that the story isn’t quite over yet.

Their reimagining begins on New Years Eve 1965, where two police officers, unlucky to have been given the night shift, prepare to interview a lone woman who claims to have insider knowledge about a recent brutal murder. However, things take a bizarre turn when she is revealed to be Mina Harker – a woman who, although missing since 1901, hasn’t aged a single day. A woman who, despite her involvement in the destruction of Count Dracula 70 years ago, claims he still haunts her today. A woman with a story to tell.

Here, Stoker’s tale is taken from the pages of the 1897 novel and brought into the 21st century in the form of a live graphic novel – making it a watch that literally feels like turning the pages. Imitate the dog‘s The clever use of comic book-style sets and visuals seems both perfectly timely and appropriate, given the importance of vampire fiction to the genre and the fact that the Marvel and DC films continue to top the charts. box office charts.

But by creating their immersive comic – they find a way to make the text more accessible and dynamic – it loses a bit of the storytelling in the process: the story feels somewhat secondary to the visuals. However, smart camera angles transport the characters from scene to scene, and the lighting and sound design, by Andrew Crofts and Rory Howson respectively, are used very effectively.

The story is well carried by a set of three performers, Riana Duce taking the lead in her portrayal of Bram Stoker’s heroine, Mina Harker. Throughout her performance, Duce manages to bring gravity to even the most fantastic moment, which makes for a truly heartbreaking watch. She is well supported by Adela Rajnović and Matt Prendergast, who assume their multiple roles with ease and charm. All in all, they come together to make a skillfully crafted and tightly choreographed production that you’ll be hard-pressed to quickly forget.

It’s a magical production that has viewers on the edge of their seats. And with Halloween just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with the world’s most famous vampire?

Dracula: The Untold Story is at the Liverpool Playhouse until October 16, then continues touring

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