Dracula - based on Bram Stoker's novel / by Michael Theodorou

Cast

DRACULA
VAN HELSING
JONATHAN HARKER
MINA MURRAY
[later Mina Harker]
LUCY WESTENRA
ARTHUR HOLMWOOD
[later Lord Godalming]
JAYNE SEWARD
RENFIELD
MRS WESTENRA
OLD WOMAN
OLD MAN
GYPSY
LANDLORD
LANDLORD'S WIFE
DRACULA'S SERVANT
THREE VAMPIRESSES
MR BILDER
MRS BILDER
REPORTER
CAPTAIN PEASANTS
PEASANT CHILDREN
TWO MALE NURSES

Main characters are: Dracula, Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Arthur Holmwood, Lucy Westenra, Mina Murray, Jayne Seward and Renfield.

The other characters can be doubled as desired. A chorus of ten, half male and half female, could do it, each taking on a speaking part as well as chorus. As few as five in the chorus could do it also, if desired, making it a full-length play with from 13 to 18 parts.

Sample Pages from the script

Extract 1

HARKER
Good night, Count Dracula.

DRACULA
Tomorrow you shall sleep as late as you will. I have to be away till the afternoon, so sleep well and dream well.

Hacker goes out with the servant. Dracula walks over to the `window' down centre and looks out over the audience. A wolf howls in the distance as the lights fade.

We hear footsteps in the darkness and massive doors opening and closing with grinding, massive echoes, cavernous sounds of footsteps continue down a corridor, stop, and continue further into the distance, then come closer and closer until they pass by and fade gently away.

During the above sound sequence, the table with the meal has been cleared and another table with books on it piled high, is placed to the left of the stage. We are in the library. Music plays as the lights come up, rather melodious [strings] but cold.

Harker is seated at a chair reading. The Count enters from behind silently and stares at Hacker. The music continues through the dialogue, gentry underscoring the words.


DRACULA
Good evening.

HARKER
Good evening.

DRACULA
I trust you slept well last night,

HARKER
Yes, thank you. I hope it is permissible for me to be in here.

DRACULA
I am glad you found your way to my library. These books have been good friends to me and for some years past, ever since I had the idea of going to London, they have given me many many hours of pleasure. Through them, I have come to know your great England. I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its changes, its death, and all that makes it what it is.
You shall, I trust, rest here with me a while, so that by our talking I may learn the English intonation.

HARKER
But, Count, you know and speak English thoroughly.

DRACULA
Thank you, my friend, for your flattering estimate, but I fear I am but a little way on the road I would travel.

HARKER
Indeed, you speak excellently. Your knowledge of the words and the grammar is remarkable for one who has not visited our shores.

DRACULA
That is not enough for me. I wish to move and speak in your London without being taken for a stranger. Here I am noble; I am Boyar; the common people know me and I am master. But a stranger in a strange land - he is no one. I have been so long master, that I would be master still, or at least I would that none other should be master of me .... I am sorry that I had to be away so long today, but you will, I know, forgive one who has so many important affairs in hand.

HARKER
Of course. And I shall strive to undertake all I can in teaching you to speak English even more correctly than you do..... But may I use this room when I choose? Your library is full of treasures which I would dearly love to study.

DRACULA
Feel free, Mr Harker. But let me advise you, my dear young friend - nay let me warn you with all seriousness - that should you leave your room, you will not by any chance go to sleep in any other part of the castle. It is old and has many memories, and there are bad dreams for those who sleep unwisely.
I shall not keep you up talking tonight. My servant will shortly come to take you to your room, but, until then, read - peruse - digest your fill.

Dracula departs silently, leaving Harker to his studies.

Darkness. The cavernous footsteps echo along empty halls. Strange wordless singing voices seem to fill the darkness. Lights up on Harker, who is asleep at the table with a book in his lap. He stirs and wakens, listens to the strange singing female voices. He stands and looks about him. He takes a few steps forward, looking around, flying to discover the source of these voices, which are sweet and tempting.

He exits and the lights come up on another part of the stage. Harker enters, still searching for the voices which continue to haunt him. The lights fade on one part of the stage and come up on another. Harker follows the light and is led through many rooms of the castle.
The lights finally go red and he is facing the audience, when weird, heavy chords pin the voices to produce a crescendo effect of frightening intensity. At the height of the music, three female figures in night attire slowly appear from the back and make their way towards Harker, slowly and sinuously. Smoke seems to follow them as they close in on Harker, who turns and sees them.

The music changes to a romantic lush erotic sound as the three female figures move slowly round Harker, hands extended to touch him.


1ST VAMPIRESS
He is young and strong. There are kisses for us all!

2ND VAMPIRESS
You are first and we shall follow.

3RD VAMPIRESS
Take him 'ere the master calls.

1ST VAMPIRESS
He is ours and we deserve him.

2ND VAMPIRESS
Take him 'ere the master calls.

3RD VAMPIRESS
We are hungry, cannot wait..

1ST VAMPIRESS
Cannot wait the master's call ...

2ND VAMPIRESS
He is late, we cannot see him...

3RD VAMPIRESS
Take him `ere the master calls ...

ALL VAMPIRESSES
Take him `ere the master calls.... [They all lick their lips in anticipation and we see blood drooling from their mouths.] Take him 'ere the master calls.

Harker swoons and collapses to the floor. The three Vampiressesgather round his body, ready to sink their fangs into his flesh, when there is a blinding flash - Dracula appears in a red pin-spot upstage. The rest of the lighting changes to soft low blue. The three Vampiresses hiss with frustration.

DRACULA in a booming commanding voice
Did I not say I had forbidden this?! Back, I tell you, all! How dare you touch him, any of you! How dare you cast eyes on him when I have forbidden it? This man belongs to me! Beware how you meddle with him or it'll be me you have to deal with!

1ST VAMPIRESS
You yourself never loved. You never love.

2ND VAMPIRESS
You never loved us, never.

3RD VAMPIRESS
Never!
DRACULA

Yes I have loved you all. Have you forgot?

Extract 2

Lights up on Lucy on the other side of the stage, also looking out front

LUCY
Of course I shall, Mina dear. How can I not help you in your awful predicament? By the way, I am ever so much better now. Last night I slept well all night; the roses are coming back already to my cheeks, though mother says I am still sadly pale and wan. But I must tell you of a strange dream I had; so strange that it seemed to be real. In the dream I was afraid of something, though I don't know what I remember, even though 1 must have been asleep, passing rough the streets of Whitby and over the bridge. I could hear dogs howling - the whole town seemed as if it must be full of dogs, all howling at once.... Then I have a vague memory of something tall and dark with red eyes ... [ Unearthly ethereal music begins under the following speeches and continues until Mina's scream.] ... and something very sweet and very bitter all around me. I felt as though I were sinking into deep green water and there was a singing in my ears as I have heard that drowning men experience, and then everything passed away from me. My soul seemed to go out from my body and float about in the air.

The lights change to blue. Lucy moves slowly to front centre as if in a trance. She sits on the bench. Dracula's red light goes. All now is blue.

MINA still stage right speaking out to the audience.
As the clouds passed, I could see the ruins of Whitby Abbey coming into view ... the church and the churchyard became gradually visible ... there on our favourite seat, the silver light of the moon stuck a half-reclining figure ... [The lights slowly begin to change from blue to red.] But it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat. [Dracula comes slowly forward to behind the bench] Something dark stood behind the seat and bent over it. Yes, there was undoubtedly something tall and black bending over the half-reclining figure. [Dracula bends over Lucy and his face buries into her neck.] I called in fright, 'Lucy, Lucy!' and something raised its head and from where I was I could see a white face and red gleaming eyes.

By this time, the lights are at full red. Dracula looks up from Lucy's neck directly into the audience. There is blood drooling from his mouth. Mina screams. The music stops and there is an immediate blackout.
Lights up around the bench area. Dr Jayne Seward is seated, recording her voice into her phonograph. She has her hair tied back in a tight bun arid is wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope around her neck.


JAYNE SEWARD
The 5th of June 1897. DR Jayne Seward reporting again on the strange case of Renfield. Out of all my patients he is the most interesting, and gets more so the more I seek to understand him. He has certain characteristics that are very highly developed: selfishness, secrecy and purpose. His pets are of odd sorts. Just now his hobby is catching flies and spiders. He has got several very big fellows in a box. When a horrid blow-fly, bloated with some carrion food, buzzed into the room, he caught it, held it exultingly for a few moments between his finger and his thumb and, before I knew what he was going to do, put it in his mouth and ate it.

Blackout. The lights come up on another part of the stage. Renfield is on his knees with his hands clasped in an attitude of reverential prayer His eyes blaze.

RENFIELD looking up into the light
I am here to do your bidding, master. I am your slave and you will reward me, for I shall be faithful. I have worshipped you long and from far off. Now that you are near, I await your commands. And you will not pass me by, will you, dear master, in your distribution of good things?

Extract 3

VAN HELSING
Open this coffin.

ARTHUR heatedly
Professor, are you in earnest or is this some monstrous joke?

VAN HELSING
If I could spare you one pang, my poor friend, God knows I would. But this night our feet must tread in thorny paths.

ARTHUR
This is too much.

VAN HELSING
Would it not be well to hear what I have to say?

JAYNE
That's fair enough, Arthur.

ARTHUR
But this is desecration... desecration of the grave.

VAN HELSING
Lucy is dead, is it not so? Yes! Then there can be no wrong to her. But if she is not dead ...

ARTHUR
Good God! What do you mean? Has there been any mistake? Has she been buried alive?

VAN HELSING
I did not say she was alive, my child; I did not think it. I go no further than to say that she might be Undead.

ARTHUR
Undead? Not alive? What do you mean? This is all a nightmare.

VAN HELSING
There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.

ARTHUR exploding
DR Van Helsing, you try me too far! What have I done that you should torture me so? What did that poor sweet girl do that you should want to cast such dishonour on her grave? Are you mad that you speak such things, or am I mad that I listen to them? Don't dare to think more of such a desecration. I shall not give my consent. I have a duty to protect her grave from outrage and, by God, I shall!

VAN HELSING gravely and sternly
My Lord Godalming, I too have a duty to do ... a duty to others, a duty to you, a duty to the dead ... and, by God, I shall do it! ... You were here with me yesterday. Was the body of Miss Lucy in that coffin?

ARTHUR shouting
Yes, it was.

VAN HELSING
Then why are you afraid to look in it today?

Sudden crashing chord. The lights suddenly darken. Smoke starts to fill the stage, eerie music, and the lights slowly change to red. Lucy appears upstage in a white gown, her face ugly and contorted, her eyes glowing with demonic fury. She approaches slowly and points threateningly at the three. They back off and she pursues them around the stage. Very loud music as Van Helsing brings out a golden crucifix and fixes it to Lucy's forehead Smoke comes from her forehead and she champs in fury bringing blood out in her mouth - from a blood capsule.

VAN HELSING shouting above the music
Nosferatu! Nosferatu! Keep back ... stay behind me.

Lucy staggers and is about to fall when Dracula appears upstage in his red spot. He points to Lucy with his hand and she seems to draw strength from his power. He draws her towards him and there is a struggle between Van Helsing's crucifix and the Count's extraordinary power. Finally Lucy falls into the Counts' arms and he carries her off.

Extract 4

ALL PEASANTS
Stregoica.
Volkoslak.
Vrolok der Vampyr.
We await him.
To destroy him.
Send him so that we may live.
[A whisper.] Send him so that we may live.

Blackout We are back in England again, but the peasants remain at the edges of the stage, staring out from the background, until the end of the play.
Lights up Centre stage, where Mina is sitting on her chair. Van Helsing is standing behind her.


MINA
Professor, I want you to hypnotise me. He is linked to me through my blood. I can feel him there. Do it before the dawn. Be quick, for I feel the time is short.

ALL PEASANTS in whispers
Stregoica.
Volkoslak.
Vrolok der Vampyr.

The peasants continue their whispered chant as Van Helsing passes his hands in front of Mina's eyes until she is gazing fixedly ahead. Gradually her eyes close and she sits stock still The whispering fades.

VAN HELSING Where are you?

MINA
I do not know. Sleep has no place it can call its own.

VAN HELSING to Jonathan who is in the background
Pull up the blind.

Jonathan mimes pulling up the blind. A streak of red lights falls across the room.

VAN HELSING
Where are you now?

MINA
I do not know. It is all strange to me.

VAN HELSING
What do you see?

MINA
I can see nothing. It is all dark.

VAN HELSING
What do you hear?

ALL PEASANTS in whispers
Stregoica.
Volkoslak.
Vrolok der Vampyr.

MINA
I can hear voices. Strange voices.

VAN HELSING
What else?

MINA
The lapping of water. It is gurgling by, and little waves leap. I can hear them on the outside.

VAN HELSING
Then you are on a ship?

MINA realising
Oh, yes!

VAN HELSING
What else do you hear?

Sample Pages from Production Notes

PRODUCTION NOTES + TECHNICAL CUES etc.

N.B. These notes are suggestions only. You may find them helpful to follow; or they may act as a springboard for your own ideas; or you can choose to ignore them entirely!

INTRODUCTION: THEMES, THE PLAY'S INTENTION.

The writer is adamant that this version of Dracula should not be hammed but, as the original book, should be played for its value as an exercise in the sinister. It is as close as possible to an untampered rendition of the original book - though the demands of the stage have caused there to be one or two changes. DR Seward is a man in the original story but, conscious of the comparative lack of female roles, Michael Theodorou has made this character female - not perhaps very likely at this period of time historically but if you are unhappy with such a liberty, Jayne can easily be changed back to her male counterpart.

The problem for a director is that the story is so well-known and is in many versions made very melodramatic. The temptations to follow suit are great. The story and writing, even in this version, is undoubtedly 'heightened language', as it is in the original story, and therefore requires a heightened playing-style. This ought to be possible without exaggerating to the point of melodrama, which would lose its force.

Since the story is well-known, great efforts should be made to use the technical resources available in your school to bring out the atmosphere through sound and lighting. The play is very reliant on these effects and should not be undertaken by those schools who have few resources in terms of lighting and sound equipment. I daresay a pure story version could be tackled but it will be harder to make the atmosphere as frightening as it could and probably should be.

The play does not have a hidden intention such as making Dracula a sympathetic character, as a fairly recent film did. It is a simple retelling of the story and the original theme, which is the battle between good and evil.

CHARACTERS

DRACULA - The main exploration of Dracula's character is in the first quarter of the play when he acts as host to Jonathan Harker in Transylvania. Here he is revealed as courteous and charming in an old-fashioned way. His manners are the gracious ones of the nobility, steeped in pride. He is an intellectual. There is little to reveal his real self as a fiend in these pages - just one or two silky warnings. When controlling the passions of his vampiresses, we see him in his reality for the first time. Here he is powerful and demonic. He offers them a baby to suck dry and promises them their way with Harker when the latter's usefulness is over. From here on it is merely evil that we are shown through the character; the kid gloves are off. He delights in perverting beauty and innocence and he rules through fear and the exercise of his iron will.

The actor needs an accent - but not too strong since Dracula has been trying to perfect his English accent, stating that he wants to pass as an Englishman in England. Many of his speeches have a strange beauty, so that his love of words could be something the actor emphasises, lingering on some of the sounds and rolling phrases. His stance is upright and manners courteous - inclinings of the head, slight bowings, etc. But as a demon, gestures are strong and fully realised - nothing half-hearted here. Enjoy the power and allow the evil to be dwelt upon with the delight of absolute self-confidence.

VAN HELSING - The doctor should be played as a rather eccentric character. He is of course the figure of good and his sincerity must be emphasised, also his concern over the lives of Lucy and Mina. Fun could be had with mannerisms and accent, though care must be taken not to overdo this too much. The audience need to smile at him not crease up with inappropriate laughter! I feel he is a man who speaks with his hands - gesturing all the time, to help put over his ideas which he finds difficult to convey in the English language. He is Dutch and needs a fairly strong accent.

As the play progresses and he is on the scent of evil and fired up with the need to destroy it at its source, we must see this unlikely character take fire. His movements become faster and more definite, his voice also - rapping out commands. His whole aspect is that of someone for whom time must be used to its utmost - a man with a mission; a man in a hung.

JONATHAN HARKER - Just shown as a 'nice' young man at the beginning, polite and a little unsure and lost in a strange land, he is seen as sceptical of such things as crosses and curses at the outset, but a very changed man when he returns in Act Two. Now, having experienced at first hand the evil of Dracula, he is almost as determined as Van Helsing to root him out. The actor needs to emphasise his scepticism and good sense at the beginning, through embarrassment at the warnings of the villagers - little polite smiles and dismissive but still polite gestures. We need to see his growing unease and jumpiness then as he stays at the castle. Then his change of attitude and his real fear, conquered by determination and courage, in the latter part of the play. Often played as the traditional 'hero', this character is more fully realised than that rendering would show; it needs to develop. He only becomes something like heroic at the end - and then shares the heroism with a number of others.

MINA MURRAY - Jonathan's fiancee, we are not given much opportunity to see them together, so need to depend on say-so to believe in the strength of their love. Strong it certainly is for Mina to take the courageous step of going abroad to nurse him in hospital. Of the two, Mina is the stronger; she is adamant that she must be put at risk to conquer Dracula and equally adamant that should she show signs of turning to a vampire herself she must be killed. All this denotes a strong and brave character. This should be shown through her body language and speech delivery, especially in the second half. In the first half of the play she serves as a narrator to further the story often and also seems at first to be the traditional love-born girl, left at home to worry for her lost lover. Care must be taken to give these speeches sincerely, without dwelling on sighs or tears, else her character in the second half will be less believable.

LUCY WESTENRA - We are not given much time to assess Lucy as a character, since she is already in the process of changing to a vampire. She is petulant, impatient with her mother and already dearly an invalid, turning quickly from fretfulness to tears of weakness and back again. There is a kind of restlessness about her, which could express itself in an inability to be still, wringing of hands, plucking at cushions, clothes, etc. - in short, all the feverish signs of illness. Moments of her old self - one presumes - come out when her mother says Arthur should be fetched - when her love and caring for him, because of his dying father, are revealed; also when putting her trust in Van Helsing, when she is grateful and sweet. These nicer sides of her character, and her physical weakness, should be emphasised - soft, pleasant voice , languid movements - so that Lucy as a demon is much more shocking. Here her voice, facial expression and movements must be twisted and deformed, strong and horrifying.

ARTHUR HOLMWOOD - Less detail is provided about Arthur than about Jonathan. He is clearly of a high social status and could perhaps have a more pronounced upper-class inflexion than Jonathan's more standard English. We see him very much as the distraught young lover, prepared to do anything to help Lucy and almost mad with grief after her - and his father's - death. Perhaps he could be played as more impulsive than Jonathan, given to extremes in behaviour and language. He rushes out, blinded by grief; he talks in intensely sentimental terms about Lucy. His reactions to Van Helsing's preparations for the dead body of Lucy are horrified, but after he has experienced the sight of Lucy as a demon, he changes, takes a grip on himself and joins the others, equally committed and courageous. In this latter part, where he seems almost identical to Jonathan, because of their shared intent, the actor should try to retain those differences of voice and manner that he has already established, so as to keep consistency in the character.

JAYNE SEWARD - The hardest thing about playing Jayne is to balance between the fact that she is supposed to be foremost in her field as doctor of the mind whilst at the same time, deferring to the superior knowledge of her old teacher, Van Helsing. In his presence, she reverts to student-mode - unsure of herself - whereas she is actually a very competent young woman. The danger comes in such as the very last lines of Act 1, where she seems to wander into melodrama: `She can't be dead. She can't be.' 'Is it the end for her, Professor? Is it the end?' If the character has been established as matter-of-fact, sensible, with a forthright definite tone of speaking and definite unaffected way of moving, then the way of saying such lines as these must not move from that interpretation. The first line then becomes the genuine bewilderment of a doctor who really did not predict such an outcome, whilst the second becomes a genuine desire for knowledge, the good pupil asking the more knowledgeable teacher his opinion. Keep this sort of consistency throughout, and Jayne will then be a nice contrast to the others in the final scenes.
Of course, we do see her in weaker moments, when she is disheartened about Lucy and about Renfield. But these moments are private and shared only with the audience; they should be the thoughts of a strong person, momentarily brought low by tiredness and a confusing case, never played as pathetic.

RENFIELD - The actor playing Renfield can go to town, with all the licence of being able to play someone who is mad. He mostly acts in isolation - his madness becomes more obvious still when contrasted with Jayne's movements and speech. His movements could be based on some animal, sharp watchful head movements, crouching stooping gait, and so on. His voice is that of a fanatic, drooling reverence for his 'Master' and low cunning, in turns. Work on the staring eyes and slyness of the character, which then contrasts with his attempt to pull himself out of evil in the scene with Van Helsing.

All the other characters are small roles. MRS WESTENRA, Lucy's mother, should be played with emphasis on her illness. She dies unexpectedly and there is little evidence in her speech of anything other than concern for her daughter. If she were played with obvious shortness of breath, needing to hang onto the backs of pieces of furniture for support, coughing genteelly into a lace handkerchief, or some such, her death won't come as such a surprise - which it should not.

All other characters are fairly obvious. The VAMPIRESSES must be genuinely menacing - lots of sibilant sounds and sinuous movements. Play MR and MRS BILDER as exaggerated country yokels. We need the laughs at this point of the play and the lines themselves aren't that funny. It must be the couple's mannerisms that bring the laughs. Much noddings, mugging at each other, wheezes of laughter, smug echoings of each other's lines and so on, emphasised by the impatient bewilderment of the Reporter.

The parts could be split amongst a small chorus of five - three girls and two boys - or a larger number, up to ten.

SETTING

The writer outlines the set as follows, presumably following his own experience of directing it: The background of the set is three Gothic arches with black curtains behind. A round table with heavy patterned Victorian tablecloth down to the floor is UR. On the table is a large candlestick, golden goblet and golden plate with cutlery. On the wall R is a woodcut. UL there is another round table with old books piled up on top of it. On the wall a golden mirror. DC there is a simple wooden bench which will double [and treble] as different locations, both interior and exterior. A chaise longue will be required in later scenes which should have silent castors and be pushed on through the arches. A large box [coffin] will also be required. It will need to take the size of the actor playing Dracula.

A couple of period chairs will be required plus a wooden armchair which should look older. Nothing more is required except good props, stylish costumes and dean lighting with as little spill as possible and a good sound system.'

The above is for a simultaneous setting, where different locations can be identified through lighting. A fairly big playing area would be necessary for the above idea and, as he says himself, 'dean lighting with no spill.'

It might help you to make decisions for your own stage, if I list the scenes that are required.

In Act One:

  • A village street outside the train station
  • Inside the Krone Hotel, Transylvania
  • The inside of a horse-pulled carriage
  • In the mountains, near to Dracula's castle
  • The dining-room in the castle
  • The library in the castle
  • Another part of the castle
  • The library again
  • A variety of single speakers narrating thoughts: Mina, Lucy, Jayne, Renfield in his prison cell, a Captain on the deck of his ship.
  • Lucy's room - interspersed with Renfield in his cell
  • Arthur's house
  • Lucy's room
  • Mr and Mrs Bilder at the Zoo.
  • Renfield's cell
  • Lucy's room

In Act Two:

  • After Lucy's funeral - coffin on table
  • Renfield's cell
  • Outside Dracula's dwelling in England [Carfax Hall.]
  • Inside Carfax Hall
  • Renfield's cell
  • Neutral place - short scene with Jonathan and Mina
  • Some village near Dracula's castle in Transylvania
  • The same neutral space as above - Mina's house?
  • On the way to Dracula's Castle
  • Dracula's castle - the resting-place of his coffin

With so many locations, a set such as the writer suggests would make good sense. No location needs to be fully realised - most relying on a single chair, table or similar - but the whole stage should have a brooding Gothic feel, hence the suggestion of Gothic arches in the background. The black curtains he suggests behind the arches, allow for entrances and special effects coming from the whole back area of the stage.

Then have specific areas for certain key scenes. For instance, Renfield's cell would need to be somewhere easy to isolate, perhaps in a downstage corner, or on a raised platform to the front side of the stage [in the auditorium].

The back part of the stage needs to be raised, since Dracula often appears brooding above the action, just his face spotlit. I would have a further raised block to one side at the back of the raised area for Dracula to stand on, his face alone to be picked up by a red spot. This would give the effect of his face floating in space. These two spotlights would be used at different times, the back one when Dracula observes from afar, as it were, the lower one for those moments when he is seen just before entering a scene.

If your stage is big enough, you could have different areas as he suggests, or, if your stage is smaller, since so little furniture is required, a single table could be set permanently, towards the back centre - and different coverings and props could be added to it as required. If the suggested chaise longue were set most of the time nearer the front, towards one side of the stage and a bench as suggested towards the other side, you have the makings of a setup which could be used for a number of different scenes, especially if the raised area was of a height to double as seating where necessary - though if this were so, you would need access to it via a step up along the whole length.

Whatever the setting you finish with, leave lots of neutral space around the front and the centre for 'anywhere' locations.

The subject matter of course lends itself to imaginative touches. Within the confines of the play's requirements, use your imaginations and come up with colours and atmospherics that lend themselves to Gothic horror.

For the purpose of the lighting cues, I have assumed a set with a raised area as discussed above, a table set in the centre of the raised area and left there permanently, though requiring different settings on it at times. A bench set permanently in one downstage comer. I am assuming the front centre of the raised area can double as seating for, for instance, the coach. At the back , to one side, there is a raised block for Dracula's face to be spotlit high up, as discussed above. Renfield's cell, I have assumed to be built out adjoining the stage but thrust into the audience, with access to it from a corner of the stage.

Furniture such as the chaise longue will be set in the other front corner of the stage from the bench.

If the lighting is specific and with as little spill as possible, the flow of the play will be considerably improved, since the few changes can happen whilst a scene is going on elsewhere. Not to worry, though, if this isn't possible. Actual furniture moving changes are few.

LIGHTS

Each area is going to need separate lighting. I shall call these variously:

1. Dracula's castle, which will cover most of the stage, including all the raised back of the stage. This should be moody, eerie - the lights perhaps uneven and shadowy rather than a smooth blanket of light; pockets of light and shade. More concentrated light on the table area.

It will be necessary to separate the forestage and raised backstage areas of this whole area at times. If possible, a red wash should also be able to cover most of the area when indicated.

2. Interior scenes a. This will be just the forestage in front of the raised area Bright and warm - straw, pinks, yellows. Concentration of light around the chaise-longue set to one side of the stage [opposite side to bench.]

3. Interior scenes b. These scenes require the table to be lit on the raised area and some of the surrounding area, but not so far back as to take in the Gothic arches at the rear of the stage. The scenes need to be bright, but starker - more white and lightblue light.

4. Renfield's cell - perhaps separate area in auditorium, accessed from corner of stage. Orangey-yellow light, perhaps crossed with bars from gobo, to suggest a cell.

5. Medium area of light including the bench which is on one side of the stage, towards the front. Bright, daylight.