"Dracula - The Blood Count"
Heaton Park, Manchester
July - August 2005
By Peter Clifford
A coffin is disturbed, a blood curdling scream is heard, and from the canopy of trees steps the Count himself…
This blood curdling outdoor spectacle surrounded audiences in an epic adventure of gothic horror and a love that transcends time, the elements and even death. As night fell audiences were taken on a journey through the park to find Dracula’s lair, deep in a Transylvanian wood mesmerised by gypsy music and the power of darkness.
Van Helsing led this ancient struggle against the sinister evil of Dracula. Using his iron nerve and indomitable will, Van Helsing and a brilliant cast fought to rid the land of the diabolical fiend forever.
This was a full bodied production not for the faint hearted. The adaptation, written specially for promenade at Heaton Park was of course inspired by Bram Stoker’s novel, but featured a few haunting and unforgettable surprises including flying vampires and pyrotechnics! A fire lit gypsy camp, a cappella singing, folk lore, fact and fiction all met head on in this accessible production.
Peter Clifford (Count Vlad Dracula), Richard Ashton (Professor Abraham Van Helsing), Martin Harris (Dr John Seward), Eve Robertson (Christina Renfield), Jill Kemp (Miss Mina Seward), Bibi Nerheim (Miss Lucy Harker), Dan Willis (Jonathan Harker), Paul Leeming (Inspector Morris), Esther Hudson (Charlotte, Dr Seward’s Maid), Megan Trueblood-Smith (The Wise Woman), Hazel Roy (Tarot Card Reader), Natalie Jane McGovern (Gypsy/Vampire Bride), Danny Topham (Gypsy/Postman/Vampire), Orline V Riley (Gypsy/Vampire/Bride), Mark Geraghty (Gypsy/Vampire), Helen Serridge (Gypsy/Vampire Bride), Carly Moorhouse and Poppy Murray (Gypsy Children)
Caroline Clegg (Producer/Director), Noreen Kershaw (Associate Director), Faith Watson (Musical Director), Allison Clarke (Designer), Alison Eyers (Costume Designer), Lee Drinkwater (Production Company Manager), Hazel Roy (Press and Marketing/Development/Front of House), Miriam Goodall (Administrator/Front of House Manager)
“...one of its best productions to date.” - Manchester Evening News
“Clegg’s production excels in longshot - and its pretty good in close up as well.” - The Guardian ****
“A few simple but effective (in one instance jaw-droppingly so) illusions spice things up...” - The Metro
“...one of the best productions I have seen in the last decade and I don’t make comments like that lightly… if you see nothing else this year, see this.” - The Messenger