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Reimagined Dracula with female lead and set in Aberdeenshire debuts on stage



Reimagined Dracula with female lead and set in Aberdeenshire debuts on stage

The tale of Count Dracula the vampire has been terrifying readers and audiences for more than 120 years.  

Now, another adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel is taking the stage in Aberdeen at His Majesty’s Theatre. 

Performed by the National Theatre of Scotland, Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning places a female protagonist at its core and is set in Aberdeenshire.  

The adaptation includes and all female and non binary cast of performers and promises to blend humour with a “taste for the strange and grotesque”.

Played by Aberdonian actor Danielle Jam, Mina is the wife of real estate agent Jonathan Harker and one of Dracula’s victims in the original novel.

Danielle said: “This is my safe place. This is what I know, so to have the chance to come back and perform as a professional actor is great.  

“This story picks up where the book left off. Mina has experiences with Dracula then checks herself into an insane asylum, telling the story of her experience to the other patients through her journals which is how the story is told in Stoker’s novel.”

Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel is set in Transylvania, but it’s believed that Count Dracula’s home was inspired by Slains Castle in Cruden Bay. 

Director Sally Cookson said: “Bram Stoker himself spent a summer in Cruden bay writing the novel on the clifftops, listening to the waves crashing against the cliffs, so Aberdeenshire is so core to the story in this performance.” 

This latest adaptation was written by Morna Pearson and draws from this part of its northeast history, with many of its cast also from the area. 

Ailsa Davidson plays Lucy and Elsie in the performance and is from Ellon.

They said: “Since I’m from the area, I can really visualise some of the settings, which really helps to add to my performance.”

Actor Ros Watt is from Inverurie and added: “Morna’s done such a beautiful job of putting so much of the Doric language in which is so rarely seen even with work in Scotland.”

The Aberdeenshire scenery and heritage has also inspired actor Liz Kettle, who plays Dracula in the latest adaptation.

She said: “Slains Castle is very remarkable it’s in such a dramatic setting, I found it interesting that on one side you can see the castle and then the other, you can see the old Cruden Bay kirk.

“A lot of people asked me would if I would play Dracula as a man or woman and I said ‘neither’. Dracula means something different to people. Dracula is a what people fear most.”

Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning opens in Aberdeen on Wednesday September 6 in Aberdeen before coming to Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness, Dundee, Edinburgh, Coventry and Liverpool. 

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