Q&A video & photos: Returning Bram Stoker’s Dracula to the scene of the literary crime

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Sticky, Ticket recommendations, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

The bookworm in me adores everything about libraries and they don’t get much more atmospheric, or historic, than The London Library, the world’s oldest independent lending library – and now a highly unconventional theatrical venue for Creation Theatre Company’s latest offering.

Dubbed by Stephen Fry as a “gym of the mind”, The London Library, with its 17 miles of shelves containing more than one million books, has played a central role in the intellectual and cultural life of the nation since 1841.

Amongst the many famous authors who have used the library’s facilities are playwrights Tom Stoppard, David Hare and Alan Bennett, novelists Sebastian Faulks, Sarah Waters and Ian McEwan, and from the past, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, EM Forster, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Arthur Conan Doyle, HG Wells and, most interestingly for this occasion Bram Stoker.

“There is a poison in my blood, in my soul, which may destroy me”

Indeed, just last year, researchers proved that Stoker, who was a member from 1890 to 1897 when Dracula was published, used the library to research his classic Gothic horror novel. Twenty-six of the 30 books he used remain in the collection – you can even see Stoker’s scribbles in the margins of many of them. (If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to Creation’s Dracula, be sure to check out the library’s special exhibition of these tomes before the show.)

Given all of the above, and knowing site-specific specialists Creation Theatre’s knack for creating shows to fit spaces, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the company commissioned this spine-tingling two-hander version of Dracula especially for this privileged residency at The London Library, the library’s first-ever theatre production.

But you’d be wrong. In fact, it was Creation’s production, first staged last year at Blackwell’s Bookshop in their hometown of Oxford, that inspired the research that led to the library’s discovery of Stoker’s secret defacement of their books!

I talked about this and much more with Dracula adapter Kate Kerrow, director Helen Tennison, stars Sophie Greenham and Bart Lambert, and Creation’s artistic director Lucy Askew at our recent post-show Q&A.

For more video, photos and live-tweeting from the event, visit TerriPaddock.com.

Q&A video

Dracula is currently booking at The London Library until 3 March 2019.

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.