The White Bear Theatre
by Alex Loveless
enter a world of sensual excess, shattered desire
and an indefinable terror
SIMON JAMES COLLIER AND THE WHITE BEAR THEATRE
"...The epic style he [Alex Loveless] has adopted works beautifully with the presentation of text through diary form, as the original work was written; this provides a useful structure to build this interpretation around. What is also effective, is the cinematic style of underscoring the dialogue, coupled with a number of memorable songs (at last someone writes a tune you can remember the following morning), giving the feeling of a sung through musical. This device helps to unify what is, in essence, an extremely fragmented story.
With this in mind credit has to be given to Musical Director Neil MacDonald, who at one electric piano, plays non-stop throughout the entire two hours, accompanied, at times, by two cast members on the cello and guitar.
Directed by Chris Loveless, brother of Alex, there is a complete believability of the events that unfold. In the performing space that is the White Bear ... we are transported to all corners of Europe with a pace and style that hardly ever lets up. His attention to detail with text and delivery, along with how far to allow high drama to unfold without it falling into laughable melodrama is admirable, as are the performances he has drawn out from his twelve-strong cast. Complementing this meticulous attention to the book is intelligent movement direction from Omar F. Okai, who uses the music and pace to enhance the fluidity of the piece, without ever encroaching on either the development of the story or the limitations of the space. This is most effectively seen in the seduction scene, where the indomitable Jonathan Harker, played with unwavering conviction and pace by Duncan Wigman, is seduced by three vivacious vampire women (Holly Sands, Holly Vernon-Harcourt and Vicky Williamson).
Justin Arientis set, simple in its premise, a curved wall of painted plastic corrugation with three gauze covered doorways, is one of the most sensitive and appropriate designs I have seen at the theatre, it wraps itself around the audience, physically drawing you into the story. Lighting designer Cristina De La Paz manages, with only 18 lamps (I counted them) to effectively complement the piece, giving a feeling of inescapable claustrophobia, whilst Christina Pomeroys costumes, despite obvious budgetary limitations, add the finishing touches to Draculas high production values.
Dracula himself is played by the impressive Leigh Jones, whose presence never leaves the stage for one moment. There is strong support from Annabel King as Mina Murray; Joanna Hickman as Lucy Westenra, Mario Christofides as Dr. John Seward, Russell Anthony as Arthur Holmwood, Jamie Addleton as Quincey P. Morris and a particularly noteworthy performance comes from Oliver Hume as Van Helsing, who plays with conviction and sensibility, rather than many of the rather laughable previous incarnations. I must also give a special mention to Richard Warrick as Renfield, who with depth and humour never once falls into the realms of a clichéd insane patient.
Alex Lovelesss Dracula is an intelligent and memorable interpretation of the Stoker novel, a feat that has eluded many of those who have tried before him. One hopes that this new musical will capture the attention of those in a position to develop the piece as it is one of few new works that truly does have potential to go further."
- Lottie Morris
MUSICAL STAGES MAGAZINE
"...It works, and it works mainly because of the quality of the songs and the singing. Alex Loveless lyrics combine good rhyme with light irony hes the Devils creature, no redeeming feature. There are many good voices, including numbers by Dracula (Leigh Jones), Lucy (Joanna Hickman), Van Helsing (Oliver Hume), and Mina (Annabel King). Creating an air of menace/chill are the ensemble pieces. The Seduction a number twice reprised binds the musical together.
Effort has also gone into creating an intimate atmosphere. The White Bear is already a tight space but here they decide to create an artificial wall making the action even closer to the audience. The lighting subtly reflects the many changes in mood. Adding to it all are the accompanying musical instruments. The conservative attire of the men in contrast with the elegant dresses of the women keeps the Victorian feel.
...This is an alternative to the West End, perhaps not so lavish but certainly not lacking in quality. And, at three or so stops down on the Northern Line from the West End, it is not so far away either."
- Richard Woulfe
UK THEATRE NET
"The music is atmospheric and delightfully melodic ... in I Am Great Atilla there is a fine number in which Leigh Joness strong, fine-voiced Dracula recounts his descent from the conquering Hun and A Kiss Can Last Forever is a lyrical love duet when Dracula is ensnaring Annabel Kings Mina. Loveless is sinister without being grotesque. Though bent-backed when first encountered at Castle Dracula, when rejuvenated she obviously finds him much more intriguing than her husband Jonathan Harker, whom Duncan Wigman makes a very proper and unerotic English gentleman. Joanna Hickmans Lucy is also a nice young gal, with a brief but dangerous vicious moment when she bares her teeth in her vampire transformation. (When not on stage she also, if Im not mistaken, swells the orchestration playing the oboe.)
Professor Helsing, the vampire expert who guides the others in tracking down Dracula, is confidently played by Oliver Hume, complete with the slightly fractured English that Stoker gave him, but a less dominant figure than in some movie versions. These vampire hunters are much more of a team and so is this cast, though each has their moment, including Richard Warricks fly-eating lunatic Renfield, whose strange behaviour is brought forward to open this adaptation, which also has a slightly altered ending to allow Dracula a final number.
... It doesnt indulge in overblown histrionics or aim at spectacular effects but gets on with the story and flows rapidly from scene to scene. The pace, driven by the music, is sometimes in danger of being too fast to register all the information being delivered in the text but there are no longeurs! Some of the credit for that perhaps belongs to movement director Omar Okai who has managed to utilise the whole cast in this space for a full-scale fight between the gypsies accompanying Draculas carriage and the vampire hunters without endangering any of the audience.
This is a most appropriate entertainment for Halloween and the lengthening evenings for anyone who takes their horror lightly but wants to see it being treated seriously. It wont give you bad dreams."
- Howard Loxton
THE BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
"One of the most entertaining new musicals I have seen in a long time, superb ensemble piece, despite small space and (obviously) limited funding the piece really draws you in and both the acting and singing is first rate. Like the way they have focused on the 'human' element of Stoker's novel, rather than the blood and gore... very dramatic but never once falls into the realms of camp melodrama. Couple of the songs are memorable... would be interesting to see if anyone picks this up and develops it further... Leigh Jones as Dracula, Oliver Hume as Van Helsing, Annabel King as Mina Murray and Richard Warrick as Renfield are particularly memorable... Joanna Hickman as Lucy Westenra also very good... if you like supporting new and accomplished work... and Gothic style stories then take a look... you won't be disappointed."
- Andrew Mulligan
THIS IS LONDON
"A musical version of Dracula could have gone horribly wrong, but The Fallen Angel Theatre Company have managed to pull off an entertaining evening, in this well produced version of the gothic classic. ... The singing is spot on throughout, ... a well choreographed and acted piece of stage entertainment... A night of bloody good fun."
WHAT'S ON STAGE
"Sexy, aristocratic, mysterious and ultimately as tragic as hes villainous, Count Dracula is a gift of a part for the small stage as well as the big screen.
Taking up where film adaptations left off, this mini musical version successfully makes the male half of the audience aspire to be like him, while the women long to come into his arms, to quote from one of the more memorable of the shows easy-on-the-ear songs.
With a compelling stage presence and a powerful singing voice, Leigh Jones is made for the role. Others are also very well cast and the performances are consistently strong. The fresh-faced Duncan Wigman is the innocent Jonathan Harker. In danger of appearing ridiculously naive besides the wily count, he grows in authority as he defends the love of his life Mina (Annabel King), whose inner toughness is expressed through a voice comparable to Draculas in strength.
Her foil is the fragile, flirtatious Lucy, played by Joanna Hickman, who also accompanies on the cello musical director and pianist Neil MacDonald. Alex Loveless music and lyrics err on the side of the sentimental and straight, but they faithfully convey the spirit of Bram Stokers novel and deftly build up the drama, which makes for highly-enjoyable studio theatre entertainment. "
- Barbara Lewis
"Isn't a musical of Dracula a slightly odd idea? Aren't vampires supposed to be cold, aloof and silent - not enthusiastically belting out a show stopping good tune as though they are in an Undead Xfactor? But this play is worth a second look (and hearing). Oliver Hume is excellent as Professor Van Helsing, the eccentric, energetic vampire-fighter leading the heroes against the Count. He is equally at home breaking into coffins or cracking inappropriate one-liners with that famous gallows humour, such as his eager acceptance of an offer of a Lucy's betrothed's "last drop of blood" for her blood transfusion. Van Helsing often seems to be Stoker's only creation with a sense of humour, but it is completely misplaced throughout the novel, from his polite offer to let Seward enter Lucy's tomb before him. Leigh Jones gives good Bela Lugosi with his Vincent Price-esque trim guardsman's figure in head to foot trademark black. Perfecting that intense vampiric glare, he is strong enough to pick up his naive guest Jonathan Harker and carry him off. Harker (Duncan Wigman) plays it straight as the conventional, uptight young solicitor, matched by his equally well-mannered wife Mina Murray (Annabel King)... the musical breathes new life to the 1897 melodrama, and is a brave and vigorous adaptation of the horror classic. If singing vampires are your thing, see them here."
- REMOTE GOAT
"I didn't know what to expect from Dracula staged as a musical at the White Bear theatre in Kennington by Loveless brothers writer/director Chris and composer Alex... It was stunning. From the wilds of Transylvania to prim Victorian London, the drama was darkly bloodstained and biting. Piano and cello enhanced a mesmeric mood, with every element for a gothic fantasy glowing through: madness, lust, the fear that immortality is worse than death itself and that love can seem the deepest abyss of all. Songlines simmered: Love is a knife that carves your life. Faithful to Bram Stoker, the production still managed to find twists in the story, and played grim torchlight on undercurrents of brutality posing as medicine and morality. There's an amazing scene as the men, outraged by the transformation of their women into vampiric seducers, form an armed posse and thunder through the forest, the vampire as their quarry, like any group of self-righteous fanatics witch-hunting the outsider who threatens their supremacy. Brilliant. I'd go to see anything by Fallen Angel Theatre Company now."
- Crysse Morrison
"The Loveless Brothers, Alex (composer) and Chris (director), created a remarkably effective sung-through version of the story, managing to avoid falling into laughable melodrama. The musical followed the epic style of the novel with its diary and letter form and the result was an intelligent, gripping and fluid show with a twelve strong cast and musical accompaniment from an electric keyboard occasionally accompanied by cast members on cello, oboe and guitar. The music came in for especial praise, and it was generally felt this could be a show with a future."
OVER THE FOOTLIGHTS
FALLEN ANGEL THEATRE COMPANY PRODUCTION
BASED ON THE BOOK BY BRAM STOKER
A stunning new musical adaptation of the Gothic horror.
Returning to Bram Stoker's original story, enter a world of sensual excess, shattered desire and an indefinable terror. When your love is torn from you, when freedom means death, and when your soul is a demon's prey, your only hope lies in those around you, and you must unite to fight the darkest of all foes.
Evening Performances: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm
Matinees: 5pm Sunday 9th, 16th and 23rd November
No performances Mondays
Approximate running time 2 hours 15 minutes including interval
The White Bear Theatre 138 Kennington Park Road London SE11 4DJ
Box Office: 020 7793 9193
Tickets: £12.00 [Full], Con: £10.00
10% discount for group bookings of 10+
Online Bookings for Dracula Musical throughTicket Web
BOOK, MUSIC & LYRICS - ALEX LOVELESS
ADDITIONAL LYRICS - LIZ LOVELESS
DIRECTED BY CHRIS LOVELESS
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR - OMAR F. OKAI
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - NEIL MacDONALD
SET DESIGN - JUSTIN ARIENTI
LIGHTING DESIGN - CRISTINA DE LA PAZ
CASTING/LINE PRODUCER - NIKI STEVENS
COSTUME - CHRISTINA POMEROY
STAGE MANAGEMENT - MABEL KIROS
GRAPHIC DESIGN - ADAM DECHANEL & ANGELIC INSPIRATION
SOUND EFFECTS - NATHAN AMZI
PRESS - OKAI COLLIER
PHOTOGRAPHY - MICHAEL BRYDON
THE CAST [IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER]
Quincey P. Morris - Jamie Addleton
Arthur Holmwood - Russell Anthony
Dr. John Seward - Mario Christofides
Lucy Westenra - Joanna Hickman
Professor Van Helsing/Sea Captain - Oliver Hume
Dracula - Leigh Jones
Mina Murray - Annabel King
Vampire Woman 2/Mate/Sister Agatha - Holly Sands
Vampire Woman 1/Fisherman/Woman - Holly Vernon-Harcourt
Renfield - Richard Warrick
Jonathan Harker - Duncan Wigman
Vampire Woman 3/Coastguard/Attendant - Vicky Williamson
DRACULA MUSICAL CAST BIOGS
Jamie Addleton Quincey P. Morris
Jamie trained at the Academy Drama School in London, graduating in 2004. Theatre credits since leaving include: Remick in Suddenly at Home, Ernest Foster in Murder With Love, Chuck/Seamus/Michael (Understudy) in A Party to Murder (National Tour), Doctor in September Tide (National Tour), Paperhanger in Hello Dolly!, George in Don't Dress For Dinner and Badger in Toad of Toad Hall.
On screen, Jamie appeared in an EDF Energy Ident for the Rugby World Cup last year. He played Larry in Eye Level and Urinating Man in A Call of Nature, both shown at Cannes Film festival this year. Most recently, he played Barry in Best Man, currently in post production. Jamie has also played Stan, Football Manager and George for Key Stage Comedies continuously over the last four years, a company that produces E-Learning accredited DVD's for Secondary Schools.
Russell Anthony Arthur Holmwood
Dracula marks Russells first musical theatre performance since taking the lead role of Eric in last years fringe revival of A Slice Of Saturday Night at the Courtyard Theatre. Since then, Russell has enjoyed working on two further productions at the Courtyard, first as Dan in the controversial The Death Of Margaret Thatcher and then as Herr Gabor & The Masked Man in Spring Awakening. Other recent roles include Kieran in The Obscurists (Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Oakham), Chris in All My Sons and Charles in Separate Tables (Stamford Arts Centre), and Balthasar in Much Ado About Nothing (Tolethorpe Hall).
Film credits include Callum in Diagnosis Superstar and Marcus in Blue Sky. Russell has also worked in many other areas associated with the theatre, including as a Marketing & Ticket Sales Manager, Artistic Directors Assistant, and as a Sound & Lighting Designer and Technician, at various different venues, most recently at the Barbican. He has cultivated this Jack-of-all-Trades approach intentionally in pursuit of his long-term aims to direct, produce, and establish his own theatre company, alongside his acting career.
Mario Christofides Dr. John Seward
A graduate of Middlesex Universitys Drama & Theatre Arts Degree Course, Mario is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Tangled Feet Theatre Company, appearing in four of their five productions. He is a consummate guitarist & session musician working in the past with Rock artist Anouska De Georgio (Sumthin Records, USA) and collaborating with producers Nile Rodgers (Chic) and Nataraj Tribino (PM Dawn) in Los Angeles.
Recent Credits include: Tony in Game? at the Southwark Playhouse (Tangled Feet); Zabulon in The Custom of the Country at the White Bear Theatre (Fallen Angel); Rasputin in Rasputin Rocks at the Kenton Theatre (Facsimile Productions); Nick in Oyster at the Hen & Chickens Theatre (Dancing With Shadows).
Joanna Hickman Lucy Westenra
Joanna trained at Central after studying Modern Languages at Cambridge University. She has worked in several actor-musician productions (main instrument 'cello), playing Beth in John Doyle's Merrily We Roll Along at the Watermill earlier this year and Johanna in the no 1 tour of his Tony-award-winning production of Sweeney Todd.
Other roles include Wendy in Peter Pan (Oxford Playhouse), Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods (Oxford New Theatre), Mary Phagan in Parade (Edinburgh Fringe UK premiere), Tiny Tim/Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol (Trafalgar Studios), Thea in Achilles in Heels (Landor Theatre), Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Bridewell Theatre) and Madeline Bassett in the no 1 tour of By Jeeves.
Oliver Hume Professor Van Helsing/Sea Captain
Oliver was born on tour and grew up around theatres from Salisbury to Pitlochry. After wasting some years getting a maths degree he stopped being so frivolous and became an actor, training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. So far this year he's been a Medieval Castle Scene Investigator (CSI) at Warwick Castle, a singing Cancerous Growth (The Big Ending), he narrated a musical Gall Bladder Operation, was the two Dukes in As You Like It (Guildford Shakespeare Company) and is going to be Dame Trot in Jack & The Beanstalk at Solihull Arts Complex this Christmas.
This will be his 110th production and as a long time fan of the macabre he's delighted to be playing Van Helsing. He continues to live in Walthamstow with his girlfriend and her cat, likes to think of himself as sesquipedalian and owes an enormous amount to Zed and the seven Gastronauts. He is very fond of pizza.
Leigh Jones Dracula
Leigh trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and achieved an honours degree in Divinity at The University of North Wales, Bangor. Musical Theatre credits include: Phillips/Inventor in the Original UK touring cast of Adrian Noble's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Mr. Lyons/Narrator in Bill Kenwrights No. 1 tour of Blood Brothers; Marleys Ghost in A Christmas Carol (Marina Theatre Lowestoft) and Prince Charmente in Cinderella (The Theatre, Chipping Norton). Theatre work includes: Young One/Devil in A Homage Behind (Criterion Theatre, West End); James/Nanjac in Peter Halls acclaimed touring production of An Ideal Husband and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (ACT/ No.1 Parisian tour).
Television: Sabinus in BBC1s award nominated 'Pompeii - The Last Day'; Landser 11 in 'Island At War' (Granada TV); Nick in 'The Stranger' (Chatsworth TV). Film work includes X in 'Cask of Amontillado' (London Camden Film Festival) and Gerald in Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
Casting Call Spotlight
Annabel King Mina Murray
Annabel has just graduated from Mountview, where projects included playing Woman 1 in Closer Than Ever (with plimsolls), Emcee in Cabaret (with moustache) and Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa (with knitted cardi).
Previous to this she studied at Cambridge University, where she played lead roles in Oklahoma!, Hair, Sweeney Todd, Blithe Spirit and the European Premiere of See What I Wanna See. Annabel is delighted to be appearing in Dracula thanks as always to family and friends. You know who you are!
Casting Call Spotlight
Holly Sands Vampire Woman/Mate/Sister Agatha
Holly trained at Bristol Academy of Performing Arts after receiving a first class degree in dance and musical theatre at Cumbria Institute of the Arts. During her studies Holly appeared as the KoloKolo bird in Just So, Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music and Yum-Yum in the Mikado, as well as performing with Bath's prestigious Vocal Works Gospel Choir. Since graduating Holly has been singing on the club circuit and has performed with the UK tour of Back to Broadway.
Holly Vernon-Harcourt Vampire Woman/Fisherman/Woman
Holly has recently graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where she completed an intensive Postgraduate diploma in Musical Theatre. Her credits whilst training include Ellen/Priscilla in The Gut Girls, Kit Kat Girl/Dance Captain in Cabaret and Woman 1/Dance Captain in Closer than Ever.
Her professional credits include the Original Cast Recording of Dracula Spectacular - The Musical, Dancer for BBC Big Dance Event, Lead Vocalist in the Musical Theatre cabaret, Ladies in the Light and at Christmas this year Holly is looking forward to playing Cinderella at the Redditch Palace Theatre. Holly is thrilled to be part of Dracula and has enjoyed being spooked!
Richard Warrick Renfield
Richard trained at ArtsEd graduating in 2007 with an MA in Acting. In another life he spent 17 years in the IT industry. Theatre credits include La Ronde (ArtsEd), Of Mice and Men, The Tempest, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing (all MOPA Theatre Company) and The Secrets of Thornfield Manor (Through the Window Theatre). Film credits include Blue (ArtsEd), My Servant (Bottled Tension), Greed (Switchbox Media) and Springs (Bournemouth University). He has just returned from four weeks in Nottingham filming the mock-u-musical feature film Frontman (Beat24 Productions).
Duncan Wigman Jonathan Harker
Duncan trained at Drama Centre, graduating earlier this summer. Upon completion of his three years there he was immediately cast in an advert for The Discovery Channel and will soon be playing the male lead in Noise; a short film to be made in Germany. He will then go straight into the role of Prince Charming at the Buxton Opera House this Christmas, starring Denise Nolan as the Fairy Godmother. Favourite parts include Lee Baum in Millers American Clock and Costard in Loves Labours Lost.
Vicky Williamson Vampire Woman/Coastguard/Attendant
Vicky is from Northern Ireland where she began her training with NYMT. After gaining her degree at Durham University she took a Masters in Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Recent credits include lead roles in two new musicals Speed Dating -The Musical (Apt Theatre Co.) and The Rake's Return (mtpLtd) and a workshop performance and original cast recording of The Attic by Mark Carroll at Theatre Royal Haymarket . Vicky was also delighted to appear in a special production of Me and My Girl at the London Palladium playing the role of Lady Battersby. Vicky is represented by K Talent.
Principal Musical Numbers
Prologue: The Lunatic Asylum - Seward, Renfield & Attendant
The Depths of History - Jonathan & Ensemble
I Am Great Attila - Dracula
Lost Love - Dracula
The Seduction - Vampire Women & Dracula
When Men Love You - Lucy
The Storm - Ensemble
The Trance - Lucy
Harvest Moon - Renfield & Seward
Hospital of St. Joseph, Buda-Pesth - Jonathan & Mina
The Vampire - Van Helsing & Jonathan
Lucys Death - Lucy
Lucy - Seward
Reprise: The Seduction - Lucy
Vengeance - Van Helsing & Men
Every Waking Moment - Arthur
The War Has Started - Van Helsing & Men
A Kiss Can Last Forever - Dracula & Mina
Reprise: The Vampire - Van Helsing
The Saddest Truth of All - Jonathan
Montage: The Hunt - Men
Freedom - Mina
Reprise: The Seduction - Vampire Women
Finale / Epilogue - Dracula, Jonathan & Mina
DRACULA MUSICAL CREATIVE TEAM
Patricia Andreucci Stage Management
Patricia graduated from Sao Judas Tadeu University, Sao Paulo, Brazil as an actress. She started learning lighting design and technical skills at the university and later at LAMDA Lighting Summer School. Lighting experience includes Graciliano Ramos's Vidas Secas (2005) and Gil Vicente's Auto da Barca do Inferno (2006) at the SJT University's Repertoire Company, and all the performances of Nihil Theatre Company from 1998 until 2006, in which she was also involved as an actress. In London in 2008 she has worked as designer and technician for: Thorton Wilder's Long Christmas Dinner and Love and how to cure it; Caryl Churchill's Fen at Morley College Acting Studio; Valerie Clarke's The Storm with the Bedlamb Theatre Company; Louis Nowra's Cosi and Martin McDonaugh's Skull in Connemara at the White Bear Theatre.
Justin Arienti Set Design
Justin lived and trained in Milan until 2001, when he moved to London. He currently lives in London, where he works as a set-designer. Justin attended the Institute Of Art at the Royal Villa in Monza, where he was awarded a Degree in Industrial and Environmental Design. Later, in 2001, he was awarded a Degree in Set/Costume Design at the Academy of Fine Arts Brera in Milan. Justins work experience spans a wide range of design projects. He has worked with the celebrated puppet Company Carlo Colla e Figli in several prestigious Operas, Ballets and Plays throughout Europe and worldwide.
Since moving to London, Justin has been assisting established designers in a wide range of acclaimed international theatre productions and events. Among the extensive list of designers he has worked with are Richard Hudson, Mark Thompson, Anthony Ward, Klara Zieglerova, Vicky Mortimer, Paul Brown and Patrick Kinmonth. One of Justins latest projects is La Tragedie De Carmen, which had its first staging in Italian under the direction of Franco Ripa Di Meana. He is currently assisting on the set design for Sister Act the Musical, based on the movie picture. Sister Act will premier in London in Summer 2009.
Simon James Collier Producer
Simon has been creating and developing innovative and award-winning theatre, feature films, publishing, social investment and graphic design based projects for over a decade. He has also written several noted books for a younger audience. He has produced over thirty-five plays and musicals both in London's West End and throughout the United Kingdom. He has also presented celebrated events at St. Martin in the Fields, Hackney Empire and St. Pauls Cathedral, and promoted numerous exhibitions focusing on the work of up and coming artists.
Simon has been Chair, Trustee, Consultant or Director of various Charities including; The Globe Centre, BILAN, Crusaid, Dil Save, U Turn, Old Hat and Urban Theatre. He has also been the Executive Director of Londons Bridewell Theatre and Artistic Consultant to Jermyn Street West End Studio Theatre.
Adam Dechanel Graphic Design/Marketing
Adam Dechanel is a prolific author, illustrator and graphic designer whose career spans nearly a decade. He has worked in television, film, books, short stories and graphic novels for many years. Throughout his wide-ranging career he has had a series of novels published including the high profile Superman: Tempered Steel. Adam is well known in the illustration field and has worked extensively with Warner Bros, DC Comics and The Walt Disney Company. He also exhibits his artwork in galleries around London, including the prestigious Old Truman Brewery.
He is the co-creator of publishing label Okai Collier Kids that pioneered the CDbook entertainment format. His concept for graphic novel anthologies Vanston Place: The Secret Adventures & The Timber Wharves Gang was short listed for a SNAC award. In Theatre Adam has worked on hit shows such as A Mother Speaks, The Smilin State, My Matisse, Passion, A My Name Is Alice, and also spearheaded the marketing campaign for the critically acclaimed European premieres of Purlie & Preacherosity. He also wrote A Wrongful Execution, which featured as a reading for the acclaimed Inspiration, Innovation and Integration Season.
Cristina De La Paz Lighting Designer
Cristina trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Recent designs include John Fletchers The Custom of the Country (White Bear Theatre); Anthony Neilsons Normal and The Audition at the Greenwich Playhouse. Lighting designs whilst in training include Othello and Lysistrata.
Mabel Kiros Stage Management
Mabel Kiros graduated as a Stage Manager from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. Mabel has worked in the professional theatre as a dancer, director, stage manager, production manager, assistant set designer and sound operator. In 2007 she was Company Stage Manager and Assistant Set Designer for The Art of Regeneration project, led by the National Theatre, written and directed by John Turner and produced by Jenny Harris.
More credits: Fen by Caryl Churchill and directed by Angela Walsh and The Long Christmas Dinner and Love and how to cure it by Thornton Wilder. More recently she worked at White Bear Theatre in Cosy by Louis Nowra and Storm by Valerie Clark. Her last production, A Tale of Two Cities based on the Charles Dickens Classic Novel and directed by Paul Nicolas, was at Upstairs at The Gate House. In addition she has been involved in different productions in South America and Spain. Her next project is co-directing a play written by Jean Cocteau.
Alex Loveless Book, Music & Lyrics
Alex trained at the London College of Music, Thames Valley University. Awards include the Vivian Ellis Prize: Most Promising Newcomer award and the Howard Goodall Award for Composition. He is a writer associate member of Mercury Musicals Development and was part of the first UK New Musical Theatre Writers Laboratory held at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 1999, facilitated by tutors from the Tisch School of Performing Arts, New York University.
Alexs work has been performed in the north of England and showcased at various London venues including Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and The Duchess Theatre. He has contributed to The Writing Block and Royal Academy of Music workshops, and has had his work published as part of the London College of Music exam boards musical theatre syllabus.
Chris Loveless Director/Co Producer
Chris trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (2007). He is artistic director of Fallen Angel Theatre Company, associate director of Stepping Out Theatre Company and incoming associate director of the White Bear Theatre. Directing work includes: The Custom of the Country (Time Out Critics Choice) at the White Bear and Normal: the Düsseldorf Ripper at the Greenwich Playhouse; rehearsed readings and dozens of youth theatre productions.
Producing credits include an internship with the Ambassador Theatre Group in their West End production office and work with The Okai Collier Company. Chris is an experienced dramaturg, workshop leader and teacher and, pre drama school, was artistic director of four youth theatre companies in Cumbria. He has also worked in TV and theatre as an actor and is a former member of the National Youth Theatre.
Neil MacDonald Musical Director
Neil trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied the piano. He has recently completed a run of the sell-out new play/musical Lunch with Marlene at the New End Theatre, Hampstead for which he was Musical Director, Pianist and Actor. Other MD credits include The Mikado and Cole at the Westminster Theatre, London, A Grand Night for Singing at the Steiner Theatre, London, Georges Marvellous Medicine at The Pavilion, Bournemouth and The Palace Theatre, Manchester.
As a singer and pianist Neil has performed in Thank you for the Music (No.1 UK Tour), MacGregor (Tricycle Theatre), No Frills (Kings Head), Back to Broadway and Swing Swing Swing (MV Crown Odyssey), and with cabaret duo Shoo Shoo Baby, as well as his own cabaret show. Neil has also performed extensively as a solo classical pianist and accompanist at venues in London such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, St. Jamess Piccadilly and St. Martin in the Fields. He has toured SE Asia, the Philippines and Hong Kong, and given recitals in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg.
Omar F. Okai Movement Director
Omar F. Okai is an award-winning director and choreographer of over forty musicals and plays, productions of which were not only in Londons West End and throughout the UK, but also in Europe. These include: Come Dancing (Choreographer, Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Smilin State (Hackney Empire); the Oliver Award nominated Cinderella for the Theatre Royal Stratford East; Five Guys Named Moe (German premiere, 2007/8); the World Premieres of Preacherosity and Viva O Carnaval; Sweet Charity (re-staging Bob Fosses original choreography); Rent; Cabaret; the European Premieres of both Ruthless (for which he won a Best Director award) and Purlie (nominated for four Whats On Stage awards); Honk and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.
He is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the noted Okai Collier Company, which has gained an excellent reputation for encouraging new writing and staging cross-cultural productions. Okai also co-produced four West End Studio productions for directors including Lynda Baron (The Dorchester) and Ruth Carney (My Matisse), along with Rowland Lees acclaimed Crusaid Requiem at St. Martin in the Fields and the HIV/AIDS Service of Remembrance at St. Pauls Cathedral, London. Omars film directing credits include the notable documentary The 411: The Bottom Line on Amhurst Road, produced in association with Southern Housing Foundation, and he also choreographs high profile catwalk shows for Clynol and Schwarzkopf.
He is the Director of Urban Theatre, a project that encourages youth creativity within the community and has worked with the education departments at both Camden Roundhouse and The Royal Opera House. In addition to the above Omar is also an accomplished West End performer and writer. Omar will be choreographing Hansel and Gretel, the 2008 Stratford East pantomime, the new musical Muscle and is scheduled to direct and choreograph a new production of the Olivier award-winning Five Guys Named Moe in 2009.
Christina Pomeroy Costume Design
Chris has worked as Costume Designer on a number of Okai Collier productions including Elegies (Bridewell); Purlie (Bridewell, nominated for 4 Whats On Stage awards); Ruthless (Stratford Circus, winner of 5 Musical Stages awards); Preacherosity and The Dorchester (both at Jermyn Street West End Studio Theatre), The Sister Wendy Musical (Hackney Empire) and The Smilin State.
Niki Stevens Casting/Line Producer
Niki joined the BBC in 2001 and has worked as a script writer there since 2004. Niki has also been creating inspirational local community events and festivals for the past five years, including London Borough of Tower Hamlets Millennium Celebrations, St Barnabas Fete, Tower Hamlets Short Film Festival, live music events in Victoria Park such as Radiohead, and the Paradise Gardens Festival. She has also worked in creative roles at commercial festivals such as Glastonbury and WOMAD. Niki recently joined Okai Collier as Casting Director/Line Producer on The Smilin State and is currently working on their social investment projects in tandem with theatre projects. Niki is also a trustee of Urban Theatre.
White Bear Theatre Co Producer
The White Bear was established in 1988 and focuses on new writing and Lost Classics. It exists to nurture talent, extend possibilities and offer a space where risks can be taken. People who have cut their teeth at The White Bear include: Joe Penhall, Emily Watson, Tamsin Outhwaite, Kwami Kwei Armah, Vicky Featherstone, Torben Betts, Lucinda Coxon. The White Bear has received numerous awards including Time Out Best Fringe Venue, Peter Brook Empty Space Award for Best Up and Coming Venue, Carling London Fringe Awards for Best Actor and Best Production.
The Producers would like to thank:
Father Brian Ralph and the PCC of St. Barnabas Church, Rob Bartlett, David Clark, Lizzie Dove, Brian Loveless, Stewart Nicholls, Lynda Trapnell and Musical Stages Magazine, Alistair Smith and The Stage, Melanie Tranter and all at Dress Circle, Century 23, Helen Wall and the North West Evening Mail.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a late (1897) example of the 'Gothic Horror' genre, so popular in Victorian times.
The story weaves together three threads that are actually historically unrelated:
(1) Eastern European Vampire folklore.
(2) The Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler.
(3) Attila the Hun, the invader of the West.
The legends of blood-drinking, undead vampires would already be familiar to Victorian readers through pre-existing vampire literature such as Polidori's The Vampyre (1819), and Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872).
The historical connection with Vlad he Impaler (Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia also known as Vlad Dracula or simply Dracula) is somewhat tenuous. Vlad was a Romanian warrior-king noted for his military prowess and extreme cruelty. However there is no tradition of Dracula's vampirism, apart from the fact that when his tomb at Snagov monastery was opened, it was found to be empty.
Count Dracula is portrayed in the novel as a Székely rather than ethnic Romanian. The Székely claimed descent from the Huns , and Stoker's Dracula boasts that he himself is descended from Attila the Hun, the 'Scourge of God' who invaded and devasted Christendom in the fifth century. Thus Stoker adds an extra dimension to the traditional Gothic Horror by incorporating aspects of the contemporary 'Invasion Literature' genre:
"A number of scholars have noted the theme of a 'barbarian' prince attempting to usurp British society as being an example of the invasion literature which was popular at the time. Author Kim Newman characterized Dracula as being the story of "a one-man invasion" and drew attention to Van Helsing's claim that Dracula's goal was to become "the father or furthurer of a new order of beings, whose road must lead through Death, not Life".
White Bear Theatre