The Vampyre, adapted from John Polidori’s 19th-century novella by Laurie Toczek, who also performs, comes to this year’s Camden Fringe, with five performances at London’s Etcetera Theatre from 11 to 15 August 2021. Time to get booking!
In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and Byron’s doctor, John Polidori were staying at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
One evening, Byron suggested a challenge in which each of them would make up ghost stories to scare one another. Two of these stories formed the basis of classic works of Gothic fiction, the best known of which is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The other is Polidori’s The Vampyre, inspired by the story told that evening by Lord Byron (who fell out with Polidori for stealing his idea!).
The eponymous protagonist was based on Lord Byron and set the template for the aristocratic vampire which was adopted by Bram Stoker later in the century when he wrote Dracula.
Sir Christopher Frayling, the leading scholar of the vampire in popular culture, has described The Vampyre as “the first story successfully to fuse the disparate elements of vampirism into a coherent literary genre”.
This stage adaptation was created by and is performed by Laurie Toczek, a Leeds-based actor and director who formed Spud Theatre in 2010. The company’s productions have been seen at various venues in Yorkshire and at the Edinburgh and Camden Fringe Festivals.
During Camden Fringe, The Vampyre runs from 11 to 15 August 2021 at the Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU, with performances (60 minutes) at 5.30pm. Tickets are priced £10 (£8 concessions). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
About Spud Theatre
Laurie Toczek started Spud Theatre in January 2010. The first show was a stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel, Trainspotting. Laurie named the company after one of the characters, the hapless but likable junkie, Spud Murphy. Since then, the company has put on many productions, both locally, in Leeds and Halifax, and at the Edinburgh and Camden Fringe Festivals.
Laurie has directed all the productions and also took the parts of Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and Dr Seward in Dracula. He has adapted for the stage the original Sherlock Holmes’ stories, The Dancing Men and The Speckled Band, the Sheridan Le Fanu novella, Carmilla, and the Sherlock Holmes’ novel, The Tangled Skein, by leading Sherlockian David Stuart Davies. He has also devised a show for the stage, The Murder Trials of Sir Edward Marshall Hall.