|Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON (July 6, 2017) — The Shaw Festival’s production of Liz Lochhead’s sultry adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula – a feminine-focused take on the iconic vampire story – begins previews July 8 at the Festival Theatre. Directed by Eda Holmes, Lochhead’s Dracula delves into the deeper sensual meaning of Stoker’s Gothic thriller. The result is a bone-chilling, beautiful narrative highlighting Victorian women’s sexual desire and the men who fear it – all under the guise of keeping a vampire who hungers for blood at bay.
When young solicitor Jonathan Harker (Ben Sanders) journeys to meet the reclusive Count Dracula (Allan Louis), he has no idea the evil he will invite into the lives of those he loves. Realizing the vampire aristocrat desires his fiancée Mina (Marla McLean) and her sister Lucy (Cherissa Richards), he turns to his friend Dr. Arthur Seward (Martin Happer) and Professor Van Helsing (Steven Sutcliffe) to stop the darkness that threatens to envelop his beloved.
Michael Gianfrancesco’s set employs surfaces and textures that can be transformed to create a heightened sense of gothic and horror atmosphere where the dark sexuality of vampires runs unrestrained. His costume design takes cues from 1897, the year Stoker’s novel was written, and 1985, when Lochhead’s version of the play was written. The result is a blend of deconstructed late Victorian shapes with influences from the underground nightclub scene. Projections by Cameron Davis and lighting design by Alan Brodie manipulate Gianfrancesco’s set design, while John Gzowski’s blood-curdling seductive soundscape will literally make hairs stand on end.
Dracula is on stage at the Festival Theatre (10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from July 8 to October 14 (opening July 29).
Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Marci T. House
Dr. Arthur Seward
Nurse Grice/Vampire Bride
Mrs Manners/Dr Goldman/Nurse Nisbett/Vampire Bride
Lucy Westerman/Vampire Bride
Creative & Production:
Assistant Stage Manager
The Shaw Festival’s 2017 season is on stage April 5 through October 15. The playbill features Me and My Girl, Saint Joan, Dracula, 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, Androcles and the Lion, Wilde Tales, The Madness of George III, Dancing at Lughnasa, An Octoroon, Middletown, 1979 and Secret Theatre.
Direct bus service from Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Shaw Express began April 5. Patrons can choose to come for one day or stay for the weekend with a round trip costing $25. A ticket to a 2017 Shaw Festival performance is required to access this service.
Tickets for the 2017 Festival season and Shaw Express are available through the Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at www.shawfest.com.